The General Secretary of Rabita Mohammadia of the Oulémas, Ahmad Abbedi, revealed on Thursday in Rabat the founding of a Reconciliation Center, entrusted with the tasks of combating violent extremism and rehabilitating and reintegrating those convicted of terrorism and extremism.
The Reconciliation Center intends to prevent extremism through implementing various programs, establishing a vigilance system, protecting families of convicted individuals from adopting extremist ideas, and conducting relevant studies, research, meetings, conferences, and training courses.
The center will also be in charge of overseeing the current reconciliation rehabilitation program and ensuring its continuity, support, and follow-up for beneficiaries after their release.
Saloua Soumati, a PhD researcher in the field of combating extremism and terrorism, told MoroccoLatestNews “the center has come to complete the work of the Reconciliation Program, which started in 2017. This center is considered a positive initiative aimed at addressing issues of extremism and terrorism through the rehabilitation of prisoners. It can also play an important role in enhancing security and stability.”
She underscored that “If the programs are well-designed and effectively implemented, this center can be effective in achieving its goals. Especially considering the focus on proactive prevention, which aims to prevent individuals from falling into the risks of extremism before it happens, as well as prevention measures to protect individuals in their immediate environment from being influenced by extremism. Additionally, it provides a post-release support to prevent recidivism.”
“If the programs are carefully designed based on reliable research and expertise, they can help reduce extremist and terrorist ideologies among the convicted individuals and prevent the radicalization of new individuals by addressing all possible causes,” she explained.
The expert underscored that the success of the center relies on its ability to establish strong connections and collaborations with other relevant institutions, as well as its commitment to effective coordination.
As to whether this center will help ex-extremists and terrorist to successfully reintegrate into Moroccan society, Soumati underlined that providing appropriate support and training can increase the chances of their successful rehabilitation and integration into society.
“If the program is implemented effectively, it can play a significant role in helping individuals who have left prison to better adapt to society,” she said.
The PhD researcher in the field of combating extremism and terrorism concluded the interview with MoroccoLatestNews by stating “The question raised is whether the center will focus on an economic and social approach, as this may overlap with the responsibilities of other social institutions that are involved in the process of social integration,” stressing that “These institutions have shortcomings in terms of the nature of their implementation of integration and beneficiary criteria.”
The establishment of the Reconciliation Center comes following the royal directives and will be located within the Rabita Mohammedia of the Oulémas.
This agreement was signed by the Rabita Mohammedia of the Oulémas the General Delegation for Prison Management and Rehabilitation, the National Council for Human Rights, the Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Reintegration of Prisoners.
The General Secretary of Rabita Mohammedia of the Oulémas said that the general directions of the center will be supervised by a Guidance Council.
The council will also be tasked with rotational and reporting tasks related to the center’s work strategy, as well as periodic evaluations.
He mentioned that a scientific committee will be formed, consisting of experts appointed by the Guidance Council.
Its responsibility includes the scientific and pedagogical aspects of the center, overseeing studies and research, and developing scientific ideas related to combating extremism in alignment with the center’s mission.
In 2017, the General Delegation for Prison Management and Rehabilitation, in collaboration with the Rabita Mohammedia of the Oulémas and the National Council for Human Rights, launched the “Reconciliation” program.
This program combats extremism through religious education, psychological support, workshops on law, human rights and culture promotion, and political and economic guidance.