Seriously: Denmark Promotes 'Hug a Jihadi' Program to Combat Radicalization

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Aug 09, 2017 2:46 PM
Seriously: Denmark Promotes 'Hug a Jihadi' Program to Combat Radicalization

Denmark has a new idea for how to de-radicalize jihadists and put an end to terror attacks: kindness. 

That’s right—in Aarhus, Denmark, police set up a program that’s being referred to as “hug a jihadi” to change the hearts and minds of would-be terrorists. 

The authorities envision accomplishing this by engaging the potential Islamic extremists and treating them with kindness instead of as criminals and outcasts. 

"Dateline" reporter Evan Williams spoke with a man using the alias Jamal, who said he was so disenfranchised and angry with society he was considering leaving Denmark and 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 said.

When he began speaking with someone from the "hug a jihadi" program, he began to open up about the unique difficulties of being a Muslim in Denmark.

Williams said that's when Jamal began to reconsider his views.

"All it took was someone to reach out and offer empathy and understanding," Williams wrote. (Fox News Insider)

According to Williams’s report, the “isolation” immigrants feel, “trapped between two worlds,” is a recipe for disaster for young Muslims. 

Jamal’s mentor told Williams the key to success in the program is patience.

“It takes a long time to be radicalised, but it also takes a long time to be deradicalised. It’s because they don’t feel like, ‘I’m a part of this society’,” the mentor said.

While Williams claims the effort has been “remarkably effective” so far, it seems unlikely other countries will be emulating the program anytime soon.