It seems only fitting that the country that created it has finally found a cure for it. The Pakistanis deserve a few Nobel Prizes all around and a tribute to the brilliant Islamic science that made it all possible.
After three months of sessions with psychologists, Islamic religious scholars and vocational counselors, Ahmed says he’s cured.
“I would never admire what I did 11 years ago,” he said. “It was a blunder on my part. I was immature, but it was my decision and I am still paying the price for it.”
And the secret ingredient behind this amazing success story is… money.
Participants were paid a three-month stipend of about $255. Upon graduation, they return to their hometowns and villages, where local counter-terrorism officers now check on them monthly.
The only setback so far, the official said, has been the failure to follow through on a promise of interest-free loans of about $320 to help start a small business. Provincial officials said they didn’t have enough money.
The average annual income in Pakistan is $420.
The Jihadis, some of whom were paid mercenaries to begin with, made over half a year’s salary in three months by attending a bunch of classes for show. Some of them now have more engineering skills than they did before. All of them have more money than they did before.
And the United States diplomatic corps gets to celebrate the power of soft power when all they did was pay terrorists who were paid to be terrorists to stop being terrorists, even though there’s nothing keeping the terrorists from becoming terrorists again.
Best of all, the money from the deradicalization courses was undoubtedly diverted by Pakistan’s intelligence and military apparatus to fund Islamic terrorism.
But let’s not quibble. Money is a well-known cure for Islamic extremism. We’ve been paying out money in exchange for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan for quite a while. But like most politicians, the Islamic “extremists” don’t stay bought.