Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists
by Angel Rabasa, Stacie Pettyjohn, Jeremy Ghez, Christopher Boucek
RAND Monograph 2010 242 Pages Free Online or $26
Proactive measures to prevent vulnerable individuals from radicalizing and to rehabilitate those who have already embraced extremism have been implemented, to varying degrees, in several Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian, and European countries. A key question is whether the objective of these programs should be disengagement (a change in behavior) or deradicalization (a change in beliefs) of militants. Furthermore, a unique challenge posed by militant Islamist groups is that their ideology is rooted in a major world religion. An examination of deradicalization and counter-radicalization programs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each program, finding that the best-designed programs leverage local cultural patterns to achieve their objectives. Such programs cannot simply be transplanted from one country to another. They need to develop organically in a specific country and culture.
Broadside fired at al-Qaeda leaders
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times, 10 December 2010
ISLAMABAD – A number of senior al-Qaeda members who had earlier opposed the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and some of whom were recently released from detention in Iran, have produced an electronic book critical of al-Qaeda's leadership vision and strategy.
The book, the first of its kind to publicly show collective dissent within al-Qaeda, was released last month. It urges the self-acclaimed global Muslim resistance against Western hegemony to open itself to the Muslim intelligentsia for advice and to harmonize its strategy with mainstream Islamic movements.