ALEPPO, Syria — The Syrian Center for Anti-Extremist Ideology opened its doors Oct. 28 in the city of Marea in the northern Aleppo countryside. The inauguration was attended by Free Syrian Army (FSA) commanders, local activists, administrators and lecturers at the center, which received its first batch of students the next day.
The center will take in people who have been indoctrinated in the ideology of the Islamic State (IS), putting them through courses on moderate interpretations of Islamic law, and intellectual and cultural lectures. It will also offer counseling and psychological support. The aim is to rid the participants of extremist ideology, with various recreational and sports programs, all offering daily classes over a period of three months.