Your Tax Dollars at Work…


Afghan ‘super-madrassas’ built by U.S. military
‘We have to give the religious leaders the respect they feel they deserve

Posted: May 13, 2007
In a move that echoes the hearts-and-minds strategy of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military is planning to build two “super-madrassas” in Afghanistan in an effort to win over religious leaders and to convince parents not to send their children to madrassas in Pakistan run by Islamic extremists.

The planned super-madrassas, under construction in the border town of Paktika, Afghanistan, will accommodate 1,000 boys each, the London Telegraph reported.

Madrassas – Islamic religious schools – provide not only religious education, but room and board for children. During the period when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, most conventional schools were closed down. For many parents, the choice has been between a religious education or no education at all.

For many in the border regions, the madrassas of Pakistan have been the only option. Those schools, often under the control of hardline clerics, have often been little more than incubators for hatred against the West and, at times, recruiting centers for jihad.

The U.S. military admits the possibility the new “centers for educational excellence,” to be administered by the education ministry, will be vulnerable to radical Islamic clerics.

“In Afghan terms it is a madrassa, but those words have baggage and if word gets back to a Western public that we are building madrassas, that is a bad thing,” said Major Jason Smallfield, 37, an American officer. “It is a religious school, but it is not a religious education. The governor is trying to ensure that there is some sort of control over the curriculum, to ensure that radical Islam is not being fomented through these schools.”

Several instances of unintentional civilian casualties have put coalition forces under pressure to repair relations with the Afghans. Earlier this week, a U.S. military commander apologized to the Afghan families of civilians who were killed by U.S. Marines in March. The families were given $2,000 in compensation for each death.

In addition to the two madrassas under construction, several others are in the planning stages. The U.S. government is also paying for refurbishment of mosques in the area.

“We are saying that we respect their culture and religion,” said naval commander Eduardo Fernandez. “We have to give the religious leaders the respect they feel they deserve.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Afghanistan, Taliban

5 Comments on “Your Tax Dollars at Work…”


    When oh when will people realize that you cannot win the hearts and minds of those who are both heartless and mindless?

  2. wytammic Says:

    I have a bad feeling about this one. It just isn’t good to promote and educate people in a religion that hates your guts. Seems like it should be common sense, but apparently it isn’t.

  3. Vet Says:

    All religions are the same. Name one that has not killed in the name of their god.

  4. Vet Says:

    Think Stalin…

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