Should we welcome those who had left to join IS back to our country?


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By John Isaac

We often read reports of other nations turning their backs on their citizens who want to return after leaving to join the Islamic State in Syria.

However, here, in Malaysia, things seem to be different and recent reports reveal that we could actually be opening our doors to them to return.

Is this a wise thing to do considering the kind of safety threat they could still pose to the nation?

According to reports, Malaysians who left the country to join the IS will be allowed to return provided they comply with enforcement checks and complete a rehabilitation programme.

Apparently, the government would conduct "thorough checks and investigation on each detainee while clerics and psychologists will evaluate their ideology and psychological make-up".

It also reported that those detained would be required to complete a one-month government run rehabilitation programme, adding that all of them would be interrogated but not detained.

"We will compare intelligence which we received from friendly foreign services. If there is evidence that a returnee was involved in ISIL's militant activities, he or she would be charged in court," Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division head Deputy Comm Datuk Ayob Khan said.

It was previously reported in The Star that a 31-year-old Terengganu-born woman, her five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son were the first Malaysians to be repatriated from Syria.

Ayob said 51 Malaysians, including 17 children, remained in Syria.

He said counter measures would be taken to ensure that returnees from Syria would not launch attacks in Malaysia.

All this is fine, but why do we want to take these kind of risks? Am I being mean or realistic here?

Who is going to be responsible when our loved ones are blown to bits all because our government was too welcoming?