Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism

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    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism

    Yemen and the U.S.: Different Approaches to the War on Terrorism

    Reforming Terrorists with Islam

    The most unusual aspect of Yemen’s counter-terrorist efforts is a broad effort to reform religious extremism (both Shiite and Sunni) and replace it with a moderate approach to Islam. This task (rooted in traditional Yemeni methods of conflict resolution) has been handed to Yemen’s recently appointed minister for Endowments and Religious Guidance, Judge Hamoud Abdulhamid al-Hitar, who states, “The strategy will be an important factor in treating their mistaken ideas” (Yemen Observer, April 30).

    As the leader of Yemen’s Dialogue Committee, al-Hitar developed a policy of confronting incarcerated militants in debates designed to expose their misinterpretations of Islamic doctrine and challenge the legitimacy of al-Qaeda-style jihadism. Using “mutual respect” as a basis for the discussions, al-Hitar points to numerous successes in reforming the views of extremist prisoners, some of whom later provided the security apparatus with important intelligence.

    Hundreds of terrorism suspects have passed through the program. Recidivism is untracked, however, and there are reports that some of those released went to Iraq to fight U.S.-led coalition forces. The list of graduates is closely guarded, and ex-prisoners are warned not to discuss their participation in the dialogues, thus allowing a degree of deniability should graduates return to terrorism.

    For two years, the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Guidance has kept a close watch on unlicensed Quranic schools suspected of promoting political violence, although none have been closed so far. A corps of “religious guides” (both men and women) has been tasked with promoting “the noble values of Islam” and to establish the principles of moderation and tolerance in areas where the government fears extremism is feeding on a lack of religious knowledge (Saba News Agency, April 25).

    Saleh has challenged the country’s religious scholars and preachers to “clarify the facts” of Islam for the Muslim community, especially in rebellious Sa’dah province....

    Only Moslems can stop the al Qa'ida.
    al Qa'ida and the Mujahideen Shura ARE KILLING THE UMMAH, MUSLIM KILLING MUSLIM

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