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Islamic school seeks to steer sons of militants to new path

In this July 22, 2017, file photo, a student sits in a classroom at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Pupi...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, Kartini Panggabean, top right, teaches at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. ...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali, top, delivers a sermon after an afternoon prayer at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali, top, teaches at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumat...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, students learn farming at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school was f...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, students learn farming at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school was f...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, Kartini Panggabean, center, talks to students at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indo...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, students line up for lunch at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school w...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, students play soccer at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school was fou...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, students take a nap in their sleeping quarter at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indo...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali pauses during an interview with The Associated Press at Al Hidayah Islamic Board...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali teaches at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School, a school set up for the sons of I...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali, center, leads students to a classroom at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School, a ...
In this July 22, 2017, photo, a student adjusts his turban outside the mosque at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, In...

In this July 22, 2017, file photo, a student sits in a classroom at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Pupi...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, Kartini Panggabean, top right, teaches at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. ...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali, top, delivers a sermon after an afternoon prayer at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali, top, teaches at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumat...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, students learn farming at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school was f...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, students learn farming at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school was f...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, Kartini Panggabean, center, talks to students at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indo...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, students line up for lunch at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school w...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, students play soccer at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indonesia. The school was fou...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, students take a nap in their sleeping quarter at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, Indo...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali pauses during an interview with The Associated Press at Al Hidayah Islamic Board...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali teaches at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School, a school set up for the sons of I...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, former radical preacher Khairul Ghazali, center, leads students to a classroom at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School, a ...

In this July 22, 2017, photo, a student adjusts his turban outside the mosque at Al Hidayah Islamic Boarding School in Sei Mencirim, North Sumatra, In...

SEI MENCIRIM, Indonesia (AP) — A former Islamic militant in Indonesia who says he regrets his past has opened up a school for the children of extremists with the hope of steering them away from the paths of their fathers.

Al Hidayah Islamic boarding school has 20 pupils. Nearly half of their fathers were killed in police raids, and in some cases the children witnessed the deaths. Most of the other fathers are in prison for terrorism offenses.

The children of militants are often traumatized by radicalism and shunned by society. School founder Khairul Ghazali estimates there are about 2,000 sons and daughters of killed or imprisoned militants in the country.

Indonesian authorities support Ghazali's mission and have helped sway villagers who were initially wary of the school's founder and its students.


Updated : 2021-03-08 15:02 GMT+08:00