Denmark has a controversial way of dealing with jihadists, referred to by some as the “hug a terrorist” program, Dateline reported.
Police in Denmark have set up a controversial new program to stop the spread of radicalization and terror attacks.
In Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, authorities are using a method referred to by some as the “hug a terrorist” or “hug a jihadi” model of de-radicalization.
They are trying to change the minds of potential Islamic extremists by supporting them and offering them kindness rather than treating them as outcasts and criminals.
After getting numerous calls from parents who complained that their children had fled to Syria to join the jihad, police in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, decided to take a new approach.
“We could prosecute them all if we can find evidence, however those we couldn’t prosecute, what should we do about them?” Superintendent Allan Aarslev told Dateline.
Blame themselves because some Muslims feel as if they are outcasts in Denmark’s society, according to Dateline.
A man, who called himself Jamal, told Dateline that after police were called when a teacher interpreted something he said as a threat to another student, he started to ponder the idea of becoming a terrorist.
“In my mind, I was like, ‘They treated me as a terrorist. If they want a terrorist, they will get a terrorist,’” he told reporter Evan Williams.
He started spending more time at his mosque and began to develop extremist views.
But according to him, his mind changed after the officer called him and apologized.
He got a mentor in the anti-terrorism program and his mind, he claims, began to change.
A lot like the Winter Warlock in “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” he changed from bad to good.
Not everyone thinks the program is a good idea, including Danish Muslim politician Naser Khader, who was born in Syria.
“Go out and do something criminal, be jihadis, you will get a lot of privilege from the society,” he said. “That’s wrong in my opinion.”