Over 1,500 Extremists Freed After Repenting
RIYADH, 26 November 2007 - Saudi authorities have released more than 1,500
reformed extremists, who were detained on charges of embracing and spreading takfeer
(the ideology that brands other Muslims who disagree with them as infidels).
The extremists, under the guidance of the Ministry of Interior, had undergone lengthy
counseling, according to Muhammad Al-Nujaimi, a member of the Counseling
Committee and professor of comparative jurisprudence at the King Fahd Security
Al-Nujaimi told Al-Watan newspaper that the Counseling Committee, which is the
brainchild of Prince Muhammad ibn Naif, assistant minister of interior for security
affairs, was established in 2004 with the approval of Interior Minister Prince Naif. The
Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance
jointly supervise activities of the committee comprising 100 members. Members include
religious scholars, preachers, specialists in religious doctrine and law, psychologists and
The committee is tasked with the duty of reforming youths in an intellectual and rational
manner on the basis of Shariah. "The committee has met around 5,000 times to offer
counseling to 3,200 people, who were accused of embracing the takfeer ideology. The
committee has successfully completed reforming 1,500 people," Al-Nujaimi said.
The suspects were largely confused about the meaning of jihad, which led to their
believing in committing blind violence. They also viewed that the present Muslim rulers,
scholars and public were infidels, and therefore demanded the establishment of a single
Islamic state, said Al-Nujaimi.
"After several graded sessions with the committee, and having been convinced of their
misguided vision, they renounced their erroneous ideologies, including the concept of
driving out all infidels from the Arabian Peninsula," he said.
The committee first evaluates the personality and the ideological crisis suffered by the
suspect, and then decides on how to clean his mind of the mistaken impressions, said Al-
The committee in the later stages of counseling holds several sessions on the concept of
obedience to a ruler, loyalty, conditions for baiat (declaration of allegiance to a ruler) and
the mistaken concept of murder and violence without guilt.