Thursday, January 02, 2014

Despite Vast Resources Poured into the Effort , UK Islamist Extremists Snub Non-Violence Prison Program

I found this interesting but hardly surprising.

A British government program aimed at rehabilitating radical Muslim prisoners so that they abandon their philosophy of violence has largely failed, according to Sky News

The majority of prisoners convicted on terrorism charges related to their Islamist beliefs have refused to participate.

There are about 150 convicted terrorists in British prisons, 110 of them have rejected taking part in the "Contest" program. Contest seeks to persuade them to reconsider their beliefs and reject violence.

The prisoners hold views that are "very fanatical" and "entrenched," rooted in certainty that "it is the correct worldview and anybody who opposes it is the enemy of God," said Dr. Usama Hasan of the Quilliam Foundation. The group is partly funded by the British government.

Contest is part of a larger effort to counter radicalism among the country's 1.6 million Muslims. 

Britain says it invests significant resources in "stopping people from supporting terrorism," according to a 2013 government report. London provides funding to community-based Muslim groups to help them counter militant Islamic propaganda and "offer alternative views" to "vulnerable target audiences."

Government sources told Sky News that none of the hardcore "jihadist" in the prison system, among them Abdullah Ahmed Ali who had conspired to blow up airliners with liquid explosives, consented to participate in the anti-extremism initiative.

Some 40 prisoners, mostly lower level "foot soldiers" are presently enrolled in the program. However, 30 offenders who completed their sentences and did not take part in the program are now back on the streets, Sky News reported.

The Contest prison program is modeled after one pioneered in Saudi Arabia.

Something tells me the Saudi instructors are more persuasive. 

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