Govt plan in place to counter IS rhetoric

Govt plan in place to counter IS rhetoric
Updated 22 July 2014

Govt plan in place to counter IS rhetoric

Govt plan in place to counter IS rhetoric

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has vowed to counteract the influence of the terror entity Islamic State, or IS, during Friday sermons.
“The ministry has a plan in place to stop our youth from falling victim to such groups,” said Tawfeeq Al-Sudairi, undersecretary for Islamic Affairs. “The fact that this group propagates a so-called ‘succession state’ to restore some illusory caliphate exposes what this group is really about,” he said.
A campaign has been launched to carry out scientific surveys aimed at finding out the stance of regular Saudis toward the idea of a succession state.
Abdulmunim Al-Mashouh, director of the Sakina campaign launched under the ministry, said the survey would target a specific social segment and would span a one to two-month time frame. The survey, he said, would be supervised by academics.
The survey is similar to a poll held on social media websites gauging Saudi popular opinion on the matter, while many observers have reiterated the importance of fighting extremism at the root.
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Suwailim, a member of the advisory committee at the ministry, has refused to brand the young men who have fallen victim to IS rhetoric as criminals, saying they were lured into joining in the absence of guidance.
“Young men are under a lot of psychological pressure,” he said. “They are brainwashed into thinking that they would be cowards and unfaithful if they don’t join these groups.”
“Branding them criminals or traitors will only alienate them further and make it that much more difficult to bring them back to their senses. They should instead be given support and advice so they are not mentally isolated with these groups.”
Many religious scholars have declared that traveling to war zones is illegal because it defies the orders of the rulers and that they are not to be considered martyrs in the event of their death.
In denial over the demise of their loved ones, several relatives of former IS members who were killed in combat have refused to grieve over their deaths, branding them martyrs instead and dishing out candies and sweets at their memorials.
Several foreign websites, meanwhile, continue to promote T-shirts with slogans encouraging fighting abroad and joining such groups.