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Action required to shield youngsters from jihadism
May 29, 2014, 8:43 am
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Care centres need aid to instil positive ideas in young minds, says Kuwait official

A Kuwaiti official has sounded the alarm over a gloomy future if enough care is not paid to “guests” in care homes, saying there were around 2,400 young people who were potential criminals in the country.

“We have discovered there are people who went to Syria to fight as jihadists, yet they do not even know the Fatiha Chapter,” Abdul Lateef Al Sinan, the head of juvenile care at the ministry of social affairs and labour, said.

Al Fatiha is the opening chapter in the Quran and it is read in every prayer, making it compulsory for every practising Muslim to memorise it.

“We are dealing with 2,400 juvenile cases, and if we cannot rehabilitate these young people within the care home, each of them is a potential criminal who will go out into the open,” Al Sinan said. “There are others who are now outside the reach of the law. The problem is that whoever contributed to the moral deviation of a youngster has in fact committed an international crime,” he said in remarks published by local daily Al Rai on Monday.

Greater government attention in the conditions of young people was needed, he added.

“We were able to rehabilitate seven young Kuwaiti men who returned from Syria after they decided not to join the armed groups there. We need to appreciate that we either build a bright future for our sons or end up with criminals and corrupt people. It is very crucial for the government to invest in childcare home in order to provide impressive awareness programmes based on scientific facts.

The official warned against the spread of sectarianism and drug uses in society.

“We have already seen graffiti on the care home walls inciting sectarianism, mainly after the participation of some of the home guests in the recent demonstrations and sit-ins,” he said.

Al Sinan said that some families refuse to take their children back in for various reasons.

“We keep them with us if we cannot convince their families to take them back,” he said.

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