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Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Betty Ford Clinic for Jihadis?

Sunday's Times of London reports on a luxury resort at which murderous jihadis are 'reformed' by the Saudi regime. They don't get a non-Wahhabi version of Islam, but they learn to 'control' their anger against the Saudi royal family. The resort is known as the "Betty Ford Clinic for Jihadis."
It has been called the Betty Ford clinic for jihadists and within minutes of arriving at the Care Rehabilitation Centre on the outskirts of Riyadh, you can see why. The small complex, where the Saudi Arabian government is exploring a new way of reforming its wayward radicals, feels more like an exclusive boarding school than a Saudi jail.

Inmates have access to swimming pools, table tennis and PlayStations. In the evenings, guards and prisoners play football. An air-conditioned tent sits adjacent to the sports field, serving as a dining hall and common room where, when I visited, the prisoners were tucking into rice and lamb with fresh fruit for pudding.

In return for this privileged treatment, the prisoners – Islamic extremists, some of whom are convicted murderers – are obliged to attend lessons based around Islamic law and the jurisprudence of jihad. A team of psychologists teaches detainees how they should manage their emotions, particularly when reacting to world events.

Art therapy classes help inmates to “reveal their softer side”. And it is not just the artwork that is surreal. It is quite a sight to see men in flowing robes, with unkempt beards and their trousers hoisted above their ankles, sit down with a pack of crayons to express themselves. “The unconscious mind holds a lot of things,” said the therapist.

The Saudi government insists all this is necessary to promote genuine rehabilitation and foster a meaningful relationship with the jihadists. But in the easy-going atmosphere of the “resort” – nobody calls it a prison – where inmates are referred to as “beneficiaries”, it is easy to forget the seriousness of some of their crimes.
Some punishment, huh? But what's more amazing is how the Saudi government keeps the jihadis in line after they leave the 'clinic.'
Since its inception none of the inmates from the care centre has reoffended, but a visit to the home of Mohammed al-Fawzan, who tried to join the Islamic army in Iraq and was arrested on the Syrian border, reveals a more intriguing reason why some of those released from the care centre might want to sustain their good behaviour.

Parked outside his modest one-bedroom apartment in a poor district of Riyadh is Fawzan’s new Toyota Camry, costing just under £15,000. The flat has been renovated and modernised with a fitted kitchen and bedroom furniture installed in preparation for his wedding. Fawzan’s living room hosts a 37in high-definition television with surround sound and a Blu-ray player. All this has been provided by the government, including an additional £15,000 for his wedding. And incentives are not limited to financial aid. The government also ensured that Fawzan was reinstated in his old job.

Ahmed al-Shayea enjoys financial benefits, too, despite having killed civilians. “If you were to rehabilitate me mentally, physically and psychologically, why would you not financially rehabilitate me if I were in need?” he says.

It may be startling to us, but most Saudis are sanguine about it. They insist that such generous financial packages are not bribing the jihadists. Khalid al-Maeena, editor of the Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s only English-language newspaper, said: “We are a patriarchal society. These people are sons of the soil. When a son makes a mistake, the father forgives him and the king has pardoned them.”
I can just imagine how much of a 'deterrent' this kind of place is to others who would join the jihad against the West. Go to the US, murder a few 'infidels.' Eventually, the Saudi government will get you released from Guantanamo and its ilk and will pay you to behave yourself. That sounds like an even 'better' deal than the terrorists Israel is releasing to Hezbullah are getting.


At 1:23 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

A desert holiday from the stresses of jihad. If material benefits is all it takes to keep jihadists in line, there should be no Palestinian terrorism. So what is it the Israeli Left missing that the Saudis know? Saudi Arabia must be the only country in the world where bleeding heart therapy makes civilized men out of monsters. I think that's just too good to be true.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

This is why the west should not take prisoners...

If a jihadist is killed on the battlefield and that moment "it" is wrapped in a pig skin then dumped into the sea it would cure this issue...

I only feel bad for the pig & the sea...

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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