Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Betty Ford Clinic --- for Jihadis!

A Betty Ford clinic for jihadis.

And you've got to read this one to believe it.

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.

Dear God in heaven, there's much more at the link. Do yourself a favor and check it out.