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UK News

Only 'supernatural intervention' can rehabilitate terror offenders says Christian scholar

by Heather Preston

A Christian scholar says de-radicalisation programmes cannot be effective without God's "supernatural intervention".

His comments come after psychologist Christopher Dean, who works for the country's biggest offender intervention scheme confirmed there is no certainty a terrorist can be "cured".

Speaking to the BBC, Dean said some participants in his Healthy Identity Intervention (HII) project can regress further as a result of their uniquely complex identities.

Islamic scholar and Christian, Dr Antony McRoy told Premier there is "something wrong in the basic philosophy" of de-radicalisation programmes.

"I think what happened on London Bridge with Usman Khan is evidence of that," he added.

A former participant in the HII scheme, Khan stabbed two people to death in a terror attack near London Bridge in November.

McRoy says the training fails to address two fundamental problems: "It basically comes down to diagnosis. They are treating these people as criminal offenders like people who are serial car thieves or bank robbers, but we need to think a bit more like serial murderers or serial sex offenders who obviously have got something psychologically wrong with them.

"But it's even more complex than that...these people are motivated by an ideology which says that the West, the infidel West, the anti-Islamic West, is basically an agent of Satan, which oppresses the Muslim world."

He argues that the governments putting these programmes together represent a regime that its participants cannot get behind.

"The people it is supposed to address are not going to take it seriously," he added.

McRoy says these schemes cannot be effective without the "supernatural intervention" of God, citing the transformation of the apostle Paul as an example.

"We see Saul the Pharisee who persecuted Christians is motivated by a theology of reacting with violence to the people he saw as blasphemers and apostates. This is the point - how was Saul transformed into the Apostle Paul? He met Jesus supernaturally on the road to Damascus.

"Now short of a supernatural intervention in the lives of these offenders I can't see that this programme is going to work. 

"Clearly, the government is not the same thing as Jesus Christ, the government has no supernatural power to transform these people."

McRoy believes imprisonment is the only way to respond to terror offenders as "it's theologically impossible for them to rehabilitate."

He has encouraged Christians to take to the streets to witness to the Muslim community and "show them the truth of the gospel."

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