Police in the city of Aarhus, Denmark, has introduced the scheme in which ISIS fighters returning from Syria are being offered apartments, education and jobs to reintegrate the radicalised back into society. Scheme was introduced after 19 youths had returned home, out of 36 who had travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS. proponents of the police-run scheme in Aarhus say that jihadists are “isolated” and struggling to integrate, and claim that offering them kindness and forgiveness will deter them from their murderous ideology. Superintendent Allan Aarslev claimed that “From my point of view it would be much more safe for the local community here to help these young men to have a normal life after they have returned than to leave them alone.”, and “If we did not integrate them into the local community again they would be a safety hazard for us.” He failed to explain why should they be allowed to return in the first place.
The program however was criticized for de facto rewarding jihadists for their activities. Naser Khadeer, a Muslim member of the Conservative People’s party, called for a hardline approach to foreign fighters. Speaking on the Australian news programme Dateline, he said: “What I have criticised when it comes to the Aarhus model is when you have been in Syria and you come back, it is wrong in my opinion to reward whoever has been in Syria by giving them an apartment, jobs, education. We should prosecute them not reward them.”. Jihadis are much more likely to see the program for what it is – a sign of weakness – than to appreciate it as a goodwill gesture. Dr. James Mitchell had called a program extremely naive. “I want you to imagine Rob O’Neill, the guy who shot bin Laden, kicking open the door in his compound, and he’s armed with warm cookies and a ‘Let’s Cuddle’ t-shirt. And he goes, ‘Get on over here, you rascal. I got lots of hugs for you,'” Mitchell said on “Fox & Friends” this morning. “It’s a ridiculous idea.”
At the same time, a Danish student, Joanna Palani, was shunned for fighting against ISIS after she returned to Denmark. Since returning to Denmark she said she had been forced into hiding and claimed she was “seen as a terrorist”. Ms Palani told MailOnline: “I was willing to give up my life and my freedom to stop ISIS advancing, so that everyone in Europe can be safe. This was my choice.” “But I am seen as a terrorist by my own country.” She added: “I live in one of the best countries in the world but I am hungry and homeless and freezing cold in bed at night, even though I am working full time.” “I don’t trust anyone.” Joanna Palani was handed a 12-month travel ban to prevent her from travelling back to the conflict zone in September 2015 and was threatened with jail when she flew to Qatar. Other Danes who had gone to fight against ISIS had been threatened with jail on their return from Syria.