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Iraqi official: ‘Liberating minds from extremism’ not just land is key

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Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri told Al Arabiya News Channel in an interview on Friday evening that “liberating minds from extremist ideology” is far more important than just freeing territories seized by ISIS.

Jabouri made his comments after Saudi forces foiled one planned terrorist attack, targeting the area surrounding Mecca’s Grand Mosque and worshipers. The Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam’s holiest place, the Kaaba, in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

“We need a unified stance” to further support “moderate Islam” to tackle this ideology, Jabouri said, urging that Muslim youth needs to be a “invested” in.

He said this extremist ideology needs to be “fully eliminated” since “it can find another place” after areas are “liberated.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Thursday that the “liberation” of the city of Mosul from ISIS will be announced in a few days. Iraq launched an operation in October last year to liberate Mosul from ISIS.

Meanwhile, Jabouri said three million displaced Iraqis have “suffered” because of either unaccommodating policies or radical groups, who used fatwas or religious edicts to lure the youth.

The “suffering youth” should not see illegal arms as an “alternative.”

For Iraq, the “new page” is to “correct” this extremist ideology, he added.