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SecaucusFats
02-04-2005, 09:09 PM
Koranic duels ease terror
By James Brandon | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

SANAA, YEMEN - When Judge Hamoud al-Hitar announced that he and four other Islamic scholars would challenge Yemen's Al Qaeda prisoners to a theological contest, Western antiterrorism experts warned that this high-stakes gamble would end in disaster.

Nervous as he faced five captured, yet defiant, Al Qaeda members in a Sanaa prison, Judge Hitar was inclined to agree. But banishing his doubts, the youthful cleric threw down the gauntlet, in the hope of bringing peace to his troubled homeland.

"If you can convince us that your ideas are justified by the Koran, then we will join you in your struggle," Hitar told the militants. "But if we succeed in convincing you of our ideas, then you must agree to renounce violence."

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CS Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0204/p01s04-wome.html?ref=aol)