Islam and Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism strategy
in Non-Western responses to terrorism
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Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism strategy of the first decade on the twenty-first century has been widely acclaimed as highly successful and presented as an example for other Muslim countries. The strategy was developed after the bomb attacks of al Qaida on the Arabian peninsula in 2003. The program is, however, deeply religious and is based on the reconversion of terrorists from a jihadi Salafism to a quietist and law-abiding version of Salafism. The chapter goes into the religious terminology of the Saudi counterterrorism programme, which labels terrorism as religious ‘deviation’, and radicals as people who have been led by their ‘passions’, are no longer rational and have diverted form the ‘middle way’. The chapter also shows how prominent religious scholars have become deeply involved in the state counterterrorism programme of ‘intellectual security’.

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