Yemeni clerics tackle al-Qaida's ideology

May 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, May 18 (UPI) -- A conference in Yemen attended by clerics and scholars explored ways to defeat al-Qaida off the battlefield and called for help by the state, participants said.

Dr. Adel al-Sharjabi, a Sanaa University sociologist who took part in the discussion, told "the battle for the minds is just as important as the one fought on the battlefield."

Clerics urged the state to establish a religious council that would debunk al-Qaida's theories and expose its lies.

They seek to prevent al-Qaida from recruiting people to its cause by using Islam as a credential, said.

Abdul Aziz al-Asali, a researcher, told al-Shorfa the state also needed to address the social root causes that contributed to the emergence of al-Qaida in Yemen. He said poverty and lawlessness were major factors in al-Qaida's favor.

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