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The Coalition Speaks Too often, coalition means them and US. Broaden our US-centricity view, and talk about working together.

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Old 01-01-2011   #1
RobSentse
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Default Perception and to the place one has in “Plato´s cave”.

The “developed” countries perspective towards the problems in the Middle East, Asia and Africa is far different from the perspective of the governments and people living in those nations. The human quality to perceive worldwide problems from its own values and norms is one of the very few characteristics in which “we” recognize ourselves. The freedom and democracy “we” like to bring to “them” is something “they” experience quite differently. The “killing,” and “battle,” which happens in moral, cultural, and psychological spheres is far stronger than any physical or kinetic harm inflicted.

Related to radicalized people, who refer their activities to a religion, I am surprised by the fact that nearly every paper lacks an in-depth analysis about the reasons WHY people are vulnerable for radical interpretations.

If we take a look at the Islam you will see that this religion is centered in the ME, the southern countries that border Russia and in western Asia. In these parts of the world you will find a high illiteracy amongst the population, so they depend to the “oral message” for their news for there is also a lack of TV, and radio and if available these media are heavily controlled.

Let´s take a look at Afghanistan. Religion is a lifeline for most Afghani people, there is however a shortage of truly knowledgeable Imam’s. Knowledgeable Imam’s are highly regarded within Afghan society, irrespective of whether they are foreigners or not. The nations that provide troops for the taskforces, can send their Imam (if available in their army) as part of the Taskforce. The Imam could provide communication with the Afghan Mullah’s and Mawlana’s in the AO.
In this way a ‘we’ as foreigners can be perceived as supporting the religion that is so important in Afghan society, reducing the number of times of being perceived as a kafir or even hostile towards Islam.
The message that the religious leaders will then spread will be less confined to local contexts and can be done in a way that improves harmony rather than impedes it.
Another way to achieve this is to ensure that the salaries of all religious teachers and imams to be paid by the government through the Minister of Religious Affairs (Director for Hajj and Awkuf, which means Pilgrims and Trusts, or Religious Affairs). Payment to these religious key persons is very irregular and badly organised. Ensuring payments would prevent these institutions from becoming tools of insurgents who use these institutions to manipulate a largely illiterate population.

Training Centres could be established to provide ongoing training and education to imams and religious leaders, with the intent of a yearly upgrade and certification process. Amongst the population there is a strong desire for the establishment of local Madrasahs (Religious schools) to counteract the influence of foreign Madrahsahs. As a result people do not have to send their children to Pakistan anymore.

There needs to be a coordinated positive reform of the curricula of the high schools, Madrahsahs, as well as the Sharia (Theological) Faculty Departments. In order to progress these positive reforms and elevate the level of education and scholarship in all institutions, the participation of scholars as mentors, supervisors and teachers from moderate international Hanafi institutions is very important.
In cooperation with moderate schools throughout the world, scholarship programs can be developed to allow for the training of religious leaders who would return to serve in the AO
Related to Afghanistan (to be refined for other countries)

How to “blend in”, how to “include”? There are several armies within the CF who have Muslim soldiers and also have army Imams.

Some thoughts about a road to “include”:

- Outreach programs; production of TV and Radio –press- programs, question answer small discussion - programs, preparing effective, inclusive, and counter attack against TB or other terrorist manipulations Khutbas (Friday Sermons), reaching out to other Mullahs or religious leaders,
- How can the credibility of Mullahs be regained in society?
- What type of questions, expectations, and criticisms do we hear from “our religious backgrounds”? Are we comfortable in dealing with these various concerns, or do we avoid these types of things for personal reasons?
- What are the major concerns/criticisms raised by people;
o corruption,
o bribery,
o lack or weakness of governance,
o financial or health related problems,
o religious education,
o Government negligence around religious issues or policies,
o security problems in general, and
o the security of pro-government Mullahs
- How can we become a effective liaison between the Government of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and CF for the healthy future and development of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan;
- What major mistakes have CF or the Government of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan made so far and what mistakes are they continuing to make that adversely affect our success in bringing peace to this country?
o Cultural sensitivity issues?
o Difficulties around defining the enemy and properly handling them?
o Lack/limited communication between CF and the Government of The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Religious Leaders?

In a high illiteracy environment people find their structure, norms and values when this is presented in a clear way and the Quran delivers a clear way for people who only have ONE frame of reference and a closed “Johari window”.

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Last edited by RobSentse; 01-01-2011 at 06:32 PM.
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