2017-08-09 20:15:18 UTC
'Hug a Terrorist' Program Aims to Stop Spread of Extremism in Denmark
Police in Denmark have set up a controversial new program to stop the spread
of radicalization and terror attacks.
In Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, authorities are using a method
referred to by some as the "hug a terrorist" or "hug a jihadi" model of
They are trying to change the minds of potential Islamic extremists by
supporting them and offering them kindness rather than treating them as
outcasts and criminals.
"Dateline" reporter Evan Williams spoke with a man using the alias Jamal,
who said he was so disenfranchised and angry with society he was considering
leaving Denmark and becoming a terrorist.
"In my mind, I was like, 'They treated me as a terrorist. If they want a
terrorist, they will get a terrorist,'" he said.
When he began speaking with someone from the "hug a jihadi" program, he
began to open up about the unique difficulties of being a Muslim in Denmark.
Williams said that's when Jamal began to reconsider his views.
"All it took was someone to reach out and offer empathy and understanding,"