skip to Main Content

Into and Back Out of ISIS: An ISIS Defector Speaks Out

ICSVE Panel Discussion featuring: Oliver N.; Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw – Director DERAD, Austria; and Anne Speckhard, Director ICSVE, was held on 11:00 AM EST on July 22, 2020.

ICSVE’s Anne Speckhard has spent decades interviewing terrorists all over the world, including 240 ISIS defectors, returnees, and imprisoned cadres. On July 22nd, one ISIS defector will speak about his life before ISIS, why he joined, what he experienced in the group, and why he left. 

Oliver N. left Austria at only 16 to join ISIS. Upon return, he was convicted on terrorism charges and imprisoned. While in prison, he was a client of deradicalization expert Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw. Now released, Oliver explains how Moussa helped him change his life and free himself from ISIS’s violent interpretation of Islam. He now seeks to educate others about the circumstances under which he, as a young, impressionable and vulnerable boy, was lured into the tight-knit brotherhood of Salafists and eventually into ISIS.

Moussa spoke at ICSVE’s second Zoom panel, “Can an ISIS Terrorist Be Rehabilitated and Reintegrated into Society?” about his important work in Austrian prisons and with Austrian law enforcement. At this fifth panel, Moussa and one of his success stories will discuss their journey together, moderated by Dr. Speckhard.

Oliver N. is an Austrian ISIS returnee who served time in Austrian prison and is now interested to work against groups like ISIS. Oliver was a client of DERAD and worked with Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw to deradicalize and completely change his orientation to Islam and to Westerners in general. He now wants to help others and prevent ISIS recruitment, under the supervision of Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw.  For his own protection, Oliver is appearing in this panel by audio only.

Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw, from Austria is the Founder and Chairman of DERAD Austria. He serves as an assignee and contractual partner of the Federal Ministry of Justice in Austria for deradicalisation and prevention in prisons, interventions and training concerning jihadism and political Salafism. He has served as a consultant on religious extremism for the Chancellor of the State Brandenburg in Germany, as a teacher at the University of Education Linz, University Krems, and University Onasbruck, and as a trainer for police officers in Germany and Austria. He teaches at the University of Vienna and has published two scientific studies of extremists in Austria, one looking returnees and those who wanted to travel to ISIS and another looking at female extremists in Austria.

Dr. Anne Speckhard, Director of ICSVE Dr. Anne Speckhard, Director of ICSVE has in-depth interviewed over 700 terrorists and their close associates, family members and hostages if they have been suicide bombers (and already dead) from various parts of the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, Europe and the Balkans.  Most recently she in-depth interviewed 240 ISIS prisoners, returnees and defectors. In 2007 she designed the psychological and Islamic challenge portions of what became the Detainee Rehabilitation Program to be applied to 23,000 detainees and 800 juveniles held by the U.S. forces in Iraq.  She has consulted and conducted research regarding terrorism in prisons around the world. Dr. Speckhard will moderate the panel.

This is the fifth discussion in this series of panels discussing ISIS Foreign Fighters and terrorist rehabilitation. The first panel, “Issues of ISIS Prisoners & Repatriations in a Time of COVID,” can be reviewed here. The second panel, “Can an ISIS Terrorist be Rehabilitated and Reintegrated into Society?” featuring Redouan Safdi and Moussa Al-Hassan Diaw, can be reviewed here and the report that was inspired by this panel can be found here. The third panel, “Can We Repatriate the ISIS Children?” can be reviewed here and the report that was inspired by this panel can be found here. The fourth panel, “Terrorist Rehabilitation in the Dutch Prison System,” can be reviewed here.

Chat Log:

10:58:15 From harjit.sandhu : Greetings to all from Harjit Sandhu.

10:58:35 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Hiii

10:58:58 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Lovely joining you 🙂

10:59:46 From Saretta : Hi to everyone 

10:59:53 From Zoe D. Fine : Hi, all!

11:00:38 From harjit.sandhu : Hello Anne and Molly. Great to see you once again. I am connecting while being away from Rome. Greetings to all from Harjit Sandhu

11:04:25 From SANJEEV : Greetings to everyone. I am Sanjeev Tripathi from India

11:04:53 From Besir Wrayet : Let’s carry on the disruptive work. Great work looking forwards to more events please.

11:06:01 From mollyellenberg : Here is ICSVE’s event page: https://www.icsve.org/news/icsve-events/


Here is our report on rehabilitation and reintegration based off of our second event, featuring Moussa al-Hassan Diaw, Redouan Safdi, and Omar Shariff: https://www.icsve.org/report-can-an-isis-terrorist-be-rehabilitated-and-reintegrated-into-society/

11:06:09 From mollyellenberg : This is ICSVE’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCumpEsozixbl-PyKw12hmnw


This is ICSVE’s webpage with our counter narrative videos: https://www.icsve.org/project/breaking-the-isis-brand/

11:06:22 From mollyellenberg : Here is our scholarly article examining the first 220 in-depth psychological interviews with ISIS defectors, returnees, and imprisoned cadres: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1791&context=jss

11:07:39 From mollyellenberg : Here is a link to a summary of our most recently published scholarly article on our Facebook campaigns, “Anti-ISIS and Anti-Western: An Examination of Comments on ISIS Counter Narrative Facebook Videos”: https://www.icsve.org/perspective-delegitimizing-isis-and-militant-jihadist-ideologies-may-also-require-addressing-anti-western-biases/

Here is a link to our recent article on ISIS on Instagram (scholarly article under review): https://www.icsve.org/isis-and-the-militant-jihad-on-instagram/

Look out for future updates from ICSVE on our forthcoming articles on counter narratives!

11:08:00 From mollyellenberg : Here is our article, “Can We Repatriate the ISIS Children?”: https://www.icsve.org/perspective-can-we-repatriate-the-isis-children/

11:08:28 From mollyellenberg : Here is Dr. Speckhard’s report on the Detainee Rehabilitation Program: https://www.icsve.org/psycho-social-and-islamic-challenge-approaches-to-in-prison-treatment-of-militant-jihadis/

11:11:46 From Jean Pierre Chabot : great points, re: religious freedom Anne!

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Most welcome.  It is really important to underscore that psychologists regularly address virulent ideas and attempt to change them.  When ideology supported by religious scriptures, often misinterpreted or taken out of context, direct a person to engage in violence, do harm to himself or society of course we must challenge these ideas and this is not engaging in any suppression of religious freedoms, it is good psychological treatment.

11:12:40 From Αndreas ZAPOUNIDIs : Greetings from Greece Thank you for the invitation

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Having lived in Greece for three wonderful years I have to answer this one after the fact and say Yassis! Back 🙂

11:13:09 From mollyellenberg : Here is the event summary, with the video and chat log included, from our rehabilitation and reintegration event: https://www.icsve.org/can-an-isis-terrorist-be-rehabilitated-and-reintegrated-into-society/

11:16:45 From mollyellenberg : Here is Moussa al-Hassan Diaw’s scholarly article, “Living environments and radicalization processes of so-called jihadists in Austria” (published in German): https://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/Zentrale/Integration/Publikationen/Studie_Lebenswelten_und_Radikalisierungsverlaeufe_von_Dschihadisten_in_OEsterreich.pdf

You can find Moussa al-Hassan Diaw’s other citations here: http://www.derad.at/publikationen-u-wissenschaft/index

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  For those of you wanting more contact with Moussa he is the director of DERAD Austria and you can find him at the same website where his last article is published above.

11:22:34 From Hanna : Great video!

11:22:42 From Mike : superb well done Sir

11:22:43 From DianaMackiewicz : Very well done.

11:23:06 From harjit.sandhu : Excellent message in the video. Thanks for sharing, Anne.

11:23:13 From Figen Murray : Humbling to hear your story.  That must have been difficult for you. Thank you for coming back from the “dark side”.

11:23:31 From O.Attafi : Is it possible to have this video?

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  All three of the videos made of Oliver can be found here, here and here

11:23:45 From Mike : Oliver my hand in friendship from a someone who has suffered the murder of my brother by ISIS

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  I’m sorry Mike.  We keep finding among us close friends and relatives who were victims of ISIS.  Thank you for your forgiving attitude to Oliver.

11:24:06 From mollyellenberg : All of ICSVE’s videos can be found on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCumpEsozixbl-PyKw12hmnw

11:24:09 From Jacobien : you can be very proud thank you for sharing 

11:24:16 From O.Attafi : thx

11:24:17 From Oliver : I’m sorry for that Mike..

11:24:31 From Mike : ty

11:24:56 From Ben Ramkaj : thank you for sharing Ben

11:25:04 From Figen Murray : I am with you on that, Mike. My son was killed through ISIS related ideology and I totally feel uplifted by this story of positivity.

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Figen thank you for your generous heart also.

11:25:19 From Tasnime Akunjee : i would be grateful if oliver knows about the role of women in isis particularly those who came to the region from abroad- did they have agency – once they were in the region what would happen if they wanted to leave etc… much obliged

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Tasnime we have written many articles about the women in ISIS based on our interviews and also from the on the ground contacts of a former Syrian research fellow.  One can be found here that describes many of their operational roles and another here detailing one woman’s experiences.  There are more on our website under publications.

11:25:33 From Mike : completely agree Fighen

11:26:01 From Oliver : as well Figen murray i can’t turn time back but i’m Very sorry

11:26:32 From Figen Murray : Bless you. That means so incredibly much. Feel even more 

humbled.

11:26:49 From Mike : Fighen like myself and many others fight against all hatred and acts of hatred

11:27:32 From Mike : hi

11:27:35 From Tasnime Akunjee : hello

11:27:43 From Jacobien : nice to meet you,

11:27:54 From Hanudas : Terms like good Muslim, bad Muslim, radicalisation etc are a hoax. The problem is with ISLAM only. Here is the link of the book to understand Islam: https://archive.org/details/understandingislamthroughhadisreligiousfaithorfanatismramswarup_202003_457_R/page/n3/mode/2up

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Actually Islam is meant to be a religion of peace and teaches many aspects of loving one’s neighbor, living peacefully and justly.

11:28:52 From Mike : Hate exists in all cultures all faiths and all colours

11:29:02 From harjit.sandhu : I have spoken to both types: some who had serious remorse about what they did and were suffering from PTSD, others on the contrary, felt proud of doing what they did. The world needs to support those who genuinely can be rehabilitated back into society. 

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Thank you Harjit, it’s true.  Although, as Moussa said earlier he met someone who refused to give him salaam’s back indicating he had takfired him, that is didn’t recognize him as a Muslim.  My guess is over time Moussa will break him down too.  So there are many who start out hard hearted but melt in response to patience, love, truth.  Deep inside most know this hatred and lies is not good for anyone.  I saw this with an ISIS emir who fell apart in an interview and admitted, “We were wrong.”  It takes time and being clever enough to break through their stoney defenses.

11:29:08 From Maha Ghazi : Hello Oliver. Thank you for sharing your story. Very brave of you.

11:29:39 From Noellynn Slaughter : I too was in foster care growing up, it’s a very isolating experience so I can understand how you would feel that sense of wanting to belong.

11:30:06 From Besir Wrayet : Hello Figen, My condolences and prayers to your son’s loss. During the previous meeting was not able to present. Your fight is highly honorable and wish you God’s speed in the pursuit of justice.

11:31:05 From Mike : hear hear

11:31:16 From ICSVE : Really we all as humans and social beings have a longing to belong, sorry Noellyn for your sad experience but it probably makes you compassionate now 🙂

11:32:29 From Hanudas : Christianity is no different. The only point on which they differ from Islam is that they are expert in pushing their regressive agenda secretly. 

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  Hanudas it’s not professional to insult other religions and will not be tolerated in our forums.

11:32:57 From Noellynn Slaughter : I think so yes 🙂 I know what it’s like though because growing up in that situation makes it feel that you belong to no one and no one belongs to you. I 

am a Christian and it was my faith that got me through it.  

11:33:02 From Sara ben abdelouahab : so you are a convert yes?

11:33:40 From Besir Wrayet : Let’s distinguish between Islam and Radicalism.

11:35:00 From Hanudas : @besir islam is the name of the tree of which radicalisation is a part, most probably root

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  This is certainly not the case.  Most religions have been used to justify violent extremism in various forms. Radicalization to violent extremism is hardly exclusive to Islam.

11:35:59 From Mike : there is radicalisation in all walks of life not just religion. 

11:36:09 From Sara ben abdelouahab : let’s distinguish between Islam, radicalism/extremism, and violent extremism. violent extremism has no roots in Islam nor any religion.

11:36:23 From Mike : agreed

11:36:28 From Louise Tiessen : just look at the far-right 😉

11:36:48 From Sara ben abdelouahab : exactly.

11:36:51 From Besir Wrayet : Yup No Freakin Trolling Here.

11:36:59 From Besir Wrayet : Agreed.

11:37:01 From Altaf : As former IS member: 1) Reverts have always been seen as weaklings who give up easily. 2) Derad is right, many of us view Muslims who work in official agencies, as potential spies and even worse as apostates in most cases, by applying the 8th nullifier of Islam on them. 3) Using “reverts” to counter IS narrative is futile, and just confirm IS narrative that the west is there to fight Muslims by using those with weak faith. 4) IS won’t go away as long as the grievances are there, and as long as the geo political rivalry between local actors (Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia & UAE continues) and between major powers (Russia, China & US).

Anne Speckhard (after the event)  It’s certainly true that terrorism is a political phenomena and socio-political grievances must be addressed to rid us of it, however we at ICSVE have found that the voices of actual insiders telling what attracted them to ISIS or al Shabaab or wherever, and their real experiences and their denouncing of the group based on those experiences are actually very powerful in turning opinions, even of hard core committed ISIS followers.  See this interview of an ISIS emir for instance who was shown two such videos.

11:37:19 From Rahul Raj : The concept of conversion is both in Islam and Christianity and it is the root cause of radicalisation, this thinking that your religion and way to pray is superior leads to destruction and must be stopped.

Anne Speckhard (after the event) That would only be true if the convert was taught to hate and engage in violence.  Many nonviolent believers are convinced of the superiority of their religions but never harm anyone else.

11:37:42 From Radhika Mall : True. Aloofness and social media are great tools at disposal for the same – radicalisation

11:38:11 From Dr. Lisa McConnell : Oliver, how did you frame good/bad elements prior to the incident that gave you a second chance on life? What shifted your understanding of good and bad? I’m interested in prevention of radicalization. Congratulations on your second chance! 

Anne Speckhard (after the event) Sorry we didn’t get to this question Lisa. In his interview with me Oliver told me that he was convinced that going to Syria and joining ISIS was going to help the Muslim ummah, a duty according to his beliefs at the time.  There was no shift in good and bad, but a realization that Assad’s atrocities were horrific and a belief that ISIS was good and going to protect and save the victims of Assad.

11:38:27 From Radhika Mall : superiority is not alone in religion but every fabric of life. 

11:38:52 From Mike : agreed

11:38:53 From Altaf : …. regarding the dog part, 

Most Muslim scholars agree that in Islam the saliva of a dog is ritually impure and that objects (or perhaps persons) that come into contact with a dog’s saliva require them to be washed seven times. This ruling comes from the hadith:

    “When the dog licks the utensil, wash it seven times, and rub it with earth the eighth time.”

It is to be noted, however, that one of the major Islamic schools of thought (Maliki) indicates that this is not a matter of ritual cleanliness, but simply a common-sense method to prevent the spread of disease.

There are several other hadith, however, that warns of consequences for dog-owners:

    “The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: ‘Whoever keeps a dog, his good deeds will decrease every day by one qeeraat [a unit of measurement], unless it is a dog for farming or herding.’ In another report, it is said: ‘ …unless it is a dog for herding sheep, farming or hunting.'”—Bukhari

Anne Speckhard (after the event) Thank you Altaf for that interpretation. Many Muslims find it difficult to have dogs for these reasons as one must be clean in order to pray during the daily prayer times and this causes difficulties also.

11:39:21 From DianaMackiewicz : Oliver, I hope you find a new dog.  Akita kens are superb dogs…they understood about the sacrifice you made.  Twisted.

11:40:58 From Noellynn Slaughter : I’m sorry that you were forced to give up your dog Oliver. I hope that he had a good life with his new owners. I too am a dog person and know how truly wonderful they are

Anne Speckhard (after the event) I was struck by how carefully Oliver placed his dog, given he was himself placed as a vulnerable child into foster care.  He had a good heart even then and could feel for the dog as well as his own loss giving it up.

11:43:31 From Noellynn Slaughter : It’s a truly terrible thing to manipulate the impulse for compassion based on faith.  It’s taking what is a good aspect of faith and manipulating it for evil

Anne Speckhard (after the event) You might like to read our article about our first 220 ISIS interviews and another on Internet recruiting that talk about how many were manipulated by their compassion for the victims of Assad.

11:45:24 From Rahul Raj : Muslims and Muslim scholars must stop justifying the violent phrases in Islam which talks about killing Infidels, beating wife etc., they must accept that there are some violent phrases and are wrong and should not be taken as inspiration else this will continue.

11:47:15 From Dharmendra Jha : @Noellynn, good aspects can’t be altered. It’s when the faith is not perfect then only it can be manipulated. Doesn’t even deserve to be called a faith rather a propaganda 

Anne Speckhard (after the event) In the future we will expel those who insult religion.  We were not expecting this kind of commentary from professionals. I’m deeply disappointed to see it.

11:49:00 From Dharmendra Jha : @Rahul raj, when Islam itself is hollow and is based on some nonsensical ideas, how can we expect decent from muslim preachers. I think the word scholar doesn’t fit them. 

11:50:44 From Noellynn Slaughter : True, when manipulated it becomes propaganda, but the impulse for doing good in the name of one’s faith is a major aspect of many religions.  Unfortunately it was manipulated in this case by those who took a young kid who was so new to it all that they defined “good” and “bad” for him before he was able to determine it for himself.

11:50:45 From cd : Grateful for different perspectives being shared, however, I think a friendly reminder is needed to be mindful and respectful when discussing matters of faith and interpretations of religion

11:51:02 From DianaMackiewicz : Oliver, did you swear allegiance to any leader(s) while a member?

11:52:29 From lenovo : exactly

11:52:30 From Alexandra : Did you also listen to IS anashid, Oliver?

11:52:36 From Dr. Lisa McConnell : Do you believe you were trafficked, Oliver?

11:53:19 From Martin Beck : Turkey – A so called member of NATO – yet is allowing the unhindered travel and organization of ISIS throughout the entire area. A hub no less (allowed by Erdogan) for ISIS support and travel. 

Anne Speckhard (after the event) You can read much more on that from our interview of an ISIS emir and our recent article about Turkey now smuggling al Hol ISIS detainees out to freedom!

11:53:42 From Rahul Raj : well he is just showing how intolerant Muslims are, when you talk about their religion.

11:54:30 From SANJEEV : De-radicalisation is an important part of countering radical Islamic ideology as propounded by groups like ISIS but the more important part is how to prevent it. My question is how to counter this ideology and prevent young minds from getting influenced by radical Islamic propaganda, keeping in mind that it is a religion based ideology and hence need to be countered within the religion. 

11:54:33 From Radhika Mall : sir with all due respect, I think you should stop this conversation. 

11:54:41 From ICSVE : Those who comment inappropriately will be blocked from future events

11:54:48 From Martin Beck : ..and we wonder why the world has problems when the definition of allies and enemies is so blurred. One is either against terrorism or for it. No excuses for those governments of world ‘leaders’ who allow it.

11:54:51 From Mike : whoever is moderating please kick these abusive folk

Anne Speckhard (after the event) I’m sorry we never dreamed we would have to expel professionals from an event but we have learned how to for the future and no such comments will be tolerated in the future.

11:54:52 From Sara ben abdelouahab : are you still a muslim Oliver? or did you convert back to  your previous religion? (Christianity)

11:54:56 From ICSVE : please ignore ignorant and insulting people

11:55:21 From lenovo : Thanks Mam

11:56:12 From DianaMackiewicz : Thank you Oliver for your personal story.  Very interesting.  Peace be with you.

11:56:14 From Tasnime Akunjee : tafsir is a juristic interpretation of the meaning of the verse

11:56:46 From Frank’s iPhone : tafsir means interpretation

11:57:50 From Radhika Mall : Wishing you all very best ahead Oliver. The story is really touching and you are a very brave man. 

11:58:01 From cd : Thank you for sharing your story. I am wondering whether you gained any insight on how any of it was being financed (your journey to Syria, how money was being collected and spent by others while you are there, etc.)

11:58:01 From Dr. Lisa McConnell : Oliver, in the spirit of honest inquiry, do you believe you were radicalized because they controlled your access to information (communications), your ability to have money (finances), and their position of power, authority? How was criminal behavior justified? Tayqiyya?

11:58:18 From Vincent Swardt : Please allow Oliver to continue his story, picking up from before they arrived in Syria

12:00:17 From lenovo : Coming forward speaking your experiences out isn’t that easy.. Thanks Oliver, for sharing that part of the world. Thanks ICSVE.

12:00:40 From Nikita : Oliver, were you talked to more about Jannat or jahhanat? Was it more about fear of punishment to continue practicing with ISIS or about benefits? 

12:00:56 From ICSVE : I think Oliver could talk for hours so I’m trying to ask him to focus on his work with Moussa you will see a lot of it in his three videos from his time in ISIS which can be found here, here and here

12:01:13 From Dharmendra Jha : Sure

12:01:23 From Ann Thiessen : Oliver, could you elaborate on the female role in ISIS from what you have witnessed?

12:01:35 From deborah : Thank you for your courage, testimony and remarkable work, if I may, after all this, why did you choose to stay a muslim?

12:02:20 From Figen Murray : I feel sad that Anne, Molly and her colleagues are putting on these fab discussions and allow us to listen to amazing speakers and yet some people are using the chat facility to write insults about each other and religions. This does really feel very disrespectful. I go and talk to teenagers and young adults and always tell them that religion does not radicalise people, people radicalise religion. Please be kind and respectful. And Oliver, thank you for sharing your powerful story.

12:02:57 From Αndreas ZAPOUNIDIS : I see that in every story Turkey is involved…Mr. Moussa I would like to hear one detail about Turkey and ISIS. Thank you Sir.

12:03:07 From harjit.sandhu : In the Parliament of World Religions held in Chicago, USA, in September 1893, Swami Vivekananda gave a groundbreaking speech in English language where he said:

“Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now”. 

And he concluded his speech with “I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.”

Sadly, the situation does not seem to have improved even after more than 125 years since that day.

12:04:16 From Besir Wrayet : Agree, Figen thank you for raising the voice of common sense, there should be community rules.

Anne Speckhard (after the event) I’m sorry we never dreamed we would have to expel professionals from an event but we have learned how to for the future and no such comments will be tolerated in the future.

12:05:17 From Nikita : Oliver, this could not have been an easy journey back. Great appreciation and all the best for your future!

12:05:20 From Figen Murray : Absolutely! This is not the forum to be disrespectful. We are talking about a topic of hate, but that does not mean participants ought to do it.  It seems a real shame. 

12:06:52 From harjit.sandhu : Thanks a lot, Figen. I agree with your post in its totality. Anne, Molley and the whole of ICSVE is putting a lot of effort in getting these talks organized. Sad that some individuals are insulting each other. Great courage by Oliver to speak on this. I admire him and also admire you. 

12:07:21 From Alexandra : Oliver, do people at your workplace know about your past? If so, how did they react to it?

12:07:29 From Jacobien : agree on that and thanks a lot for your story Oliver

12:07:59 From Figen Murray : In his book The Cure for Hate Tony McAleer talks about his being radicalised in the following way: “And new people could be eased gently into the scene, like a frog in a pot of slowly boiling water that cooks to death before realising what’s happening” .  Both stories of being radicalised at such a young age remind me of that sentence. 

12:07:59 From SANJEEV : It is obvious that Oliver was not ‘radicalised’ to the extent many others have been. What has been your experience with respect to hardcore radicalised elements? Have you been able to deradicalize them?

12:08:27 From Sara ben abdelouahab : @dharmendra: google radicalization

12:08:52 From Sara ben abdelouahab : then google, Islamization of radicalization – Olivier Roy 😉

12:09:32 From Dharmendra Jha : @sara, you google because we are  seeing it and fighting it in our everyday lives here in India 

12:11:46 From Radhika Mall : Oliver that statement on guilt is very deep and learning. Thankyou for your insights overall. 

12:11:56 From Aman Garg : There are many Islamic preachers that spread hate speech like Zakir Naik publicly like justifying “Marrying of a 112 years old man with 13 years old girl”. speaking hateful speeches like “Every muslim should be a terrorist” and then justifying that too, these people must be arrested as soon as possible in whatever country they are.

12:12:21 From Noellynn Slaughter : @Dharmendra there are also plenty of Hindu radicals in India at present as well, particularly under the current government stance of “Hindustan for the Hindus”… Just saying…

12:12:29 From Dharmendra Jha : @figen, with such a fussy understanding of religion you are doing good to noone. Something that destroy lives, bring unrest doesn’t deserve to be even called a religion. 

Anne Speckhard (after the event) I’m sorry we never dreamed we would have to expel professionals from an event but we have learned how to for the future and no such comments will be tolerated in the future.

12:12:33 From Tasnime Akunjee : oliver .. you speak about deconstructing the isis lies… was this through gaining islamic knowledge and having theological discussions or was it less technical? if i may ask

12:13:21 From Jens : what about the old / bad friends of Olivier? Are they still free  or arrested?

12:14:11 From giansteiner : Hi Oliver

12:14:18 From Tasnime Akunjee : applies to moussa too….oliver .. you speak about deconstructing the isis lies… was this through gaining islamic knowledge and having theological discussions or was it less technical? if i may ask

12:14:26 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Follow up on @tasnime Akunjee’s question.

12:14:28 From cd : @Dharmendra please take your grievances elsewhere. This is not the place for it. You are causing a distraction from our learning and engagement in the topic.

12:15:14 From Mike : sorry folks have to go. I will be tuning into the next one. Oliver thank you for talking about your experiences. I offer my hand friendship Asaalam Alaykum 

12:15:26 From Tasnime Akunjee : Salam 

12:15:43 From Dharmendra Jha : @Noellynn, thanks for coming forward. Let me tell you that what you are seeing as radicalisation is a retaliation of the ill doings of Christian missionaries and jehadi Islamists. What you are seeing is obvious also because this is the only reason we have survived history and will be there even if you people cease to exist. 

12:16:07 From Jacobien : have a nice day Mike

12:16:31 From Noellynn Slaughter : Considering the fact that India is 80% Hindu I don’t think that there’s any threat to Hindu survival in the country…

12:16:31 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Ciao Mike

12:16:39 From Noellynn Slaughter : I have been to India btw

12:16:43 From SANJEEV : Mr. Mousa what are your views on the Doctrine of Abrogation as propounded by groups like ISIS.? Do you think that it is high time for Islamic theologists to come     forward and make a distinction between constitutive and contextual verses of holy Quran?

12:17:00 From giansteiner : Thank you for sharing your experience! Do you think that the fact that ISIS calls itself „Islamic state“ has given it more legitimate for you? Maybe that is a name that is more relatable than al-Qa’ida for example? Thank you again!

12:17:42 From Dharmendra Jha : @Noellynn, you will always be welcomed as long as you don’t come here with bad intentions ie to convert the tribals and poors

12:18:09 From Michael : dear all,what about listening to Oliver instead of discussing things so complex i wonder we can solve it by small texts on a chat? 

12:18:23 From Noellynn Slaughter : I simply appreciate the history and the culture of the place. I have many Indian friends

12:18:26 From Aman Garg : @cd There is nothing like radicalisation in Hindus. India never invaded any other country because it has no concept of conversion and killing of Infidels. Come to India only then you will realise, the country where muslims are living most peacefully is india, don’t get into traps of propaganda spreading Left Media who only try to demean their own country

12:18:26 From Sara ben abdelouahab : How was your experience different from non-converts during your time there? focus on you, fascination with you, (as a convert) difference in training, involvement, participation, etc, etc…

12:18:32 From Figen Murray : totally agree, Michael

12:19:43 From Radhika Mall : I request everyone discussing on countries not directly a party of the conversation and religion on personal vendetta to stop. It’s distracting and no where serves the purpose of this otherwise very insightful webinar. 

12:20:29 From Noellynn Slaughter : True, Apologies

12:23:17 From Vincent Swardt : Excellent approach to individualise the process Moussa

12:23:39 From cd : Where did the $5-$10k come from?

12:24:57 From Sara ben abdelouahab : ISIS has heavily relied on using converts in propaganda videos, to stream the message of a « global » caliphate. Many converts are known to have taken part in certain quite extreme activities, – as they might feel that need to showcase «  a more serious commitment »  to the cause… etc. , and also in high rankings within ISIS, such as Sally Jones, and many many others…

12:25:15 From Tasnime Akunjee : i have a question i would like to ask if  i may?

12:26:07 From Aman Garg : @Noellyn Slaughter No more comments on country just replying to him,  just see the case when India was partitioned into India and Pakistan , percentage of hindus drastically decreased in Pakistan and increased in India, After 9 years of independence Pakistan was declared an Islamic state and India still a secular country.

12:26:17 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Exactly! Oliver.

12:27:05 From Aman Garg : The fact where Islam is in majority, it demands for Islamic State and where it is in minority it demands Secularism. A great propaganda world.

12:27:29 From Noellynn Slaughter : I feel like we could have such an interesting discussion forum that could keep going for days with all of the aspects that this discussion is bringing up

12:27:45 From DERAD Moussa : Tasnime Akunjee, I think we need more time concerning deconstructing the Isis lies…

12:28:00 From Isa Haskologlu : How successful are the policies for reintegration to society?

12:28:10 From DERAD Moussa : would be happy to give examples from our work in and outside prisons.

12:28:25 From Sara ben abdelouahab : I don’t agree Aman one has nothing to do with the other.

12:28:41 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Yes Moussa please. I am interested also

12:28:51 From DERAD Moussa : sorry, did not follow the questions, I am reading them now

12:29:08 From M : Would be very interesting to hear a bit more about women in Syria and Iraq who were part of ISIS during your time there. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

12:29:22 From Aman Garg : @Sara ben But this is the fact, how many secular Muslim majority country do you know?

12:29:52 From DERAD Moussa : Sanjeev, yes, which is part of Ulum al-Qur´aan

12:30:18 From mollyellenberg : Hi everyone, I know that we are almost done with this event, but I’d like to ask everyone to please refrain from posting mean comments.

12:30:26 From Radhika Mall : It would be great if you could talk in general of the responses to rehabilitations both by those who are being rehabilitated and the society where they are rehabilitated.

12:30:42 From Dharmendra Jha : @aman, a perfect ZERO 

12:31:22 From Tasnime Akunjee : thank you for asking and answering … much obliged

12:31:31 From Figen Murray : Thank you for saying that, Molly. I feel it is a slap in your and Anne’s face when people are disrespectful. Thank you for putting this event on.

12:31:43 From Besir Wrayet : Dear ICSVE and Speakers thank you for your insight. Hindu Radicals ought go through the Same De-Radicalization program, as they did not have a single warning. Luckily the audience here did not fall to your provocations. Thank you ICSVE.

12:32:12 From Dr. Aleks Nesic : Excellent Anne, and the team. Thank you Oliver 

12:32:23 From Figen Murray : Thank you Oliver. Really insightful.

12:32:23 From Sara ben abdelouahab : I don’t respond to fallacies nor attacks.

12:32:24 From Vincent Swardt : Great event. Thank you.

12:32:26 From Noellynn Slaughter : Thank You Oliver and ICSVE for this event

12:32:29 From Franzi : Thank you very much, Anne, for the insightful webinar and stories, I learned a lot! Vielen Dank auch an Moussa und Oliver!

12:32:32 From Dr. Lisa McConnell : Thank you, and I think many people are happy that you were able to recover!

12:32:34 From lenovo : Thanks Oliver !

12:32:36 From Sara ben abdelouahab : Thank you Oliver and ICSVE for hosting us

12:32:39 From Denise : Thank you!

12:32:51 From Tasnime Akunjee : thank you 

12:32:53 From Michael : thank you very much for this event and especially thank you oliver

12:32:57 From Nikita : Thank you for a wonderful event! All the best to Oliver and Moussa!

12:33:02 From JULIA : Thank you

12:33:03 From cd : Thank you Oliver, Anne and the ICSVE team!

12:33:04 From Oliver : thank you all 

12:33:05 From Radhika Mall : Thankyou for this very enriching event. 

12:33:14 From Ayden Koh : Thanks for ur insightful sharing Oliver. Good luck for ur exams!

12:33:16 From Agnes Netter : Thank you all

12:33:22 From deborah : Many thanks and All the Best!

12:33:23 From harjit.sandhu : Thanks a lot Anne, Molly and Oliver for the great presentation.

12:33:25 From Maha Ghazi : Great event. Thank you Mrs. Speckhard and Olivier, and Mr. Moussa

Anne Speckhard (after the event) Thanks to everyone that attended and to Oliver for being brave enough to share his story with us.  See you next time!

Back To Top