Free «Violent Soviet-Era Textbooks and Afghan Education Efforts» Essay Sample

The values and norms of a violent type of political Islam were transmitted to the Afghani children through their primary curriculum. These ideas were transmitted to the children through textbooks that were filled with militant Islamic teachings and violent images. These primers had images that talked of jihad featuring drawings of mines, guns, and soldiers. The idea to teach children that jihad meant military fighting against foreigners with Afghanistan was developed by the United States military strategists. The US Agency for International Development provided funds for the project using taxpayers’ money in efforts to spur resistance among the Afghani’s against communism. The books were written in Omaha at the University of Nebraska and the Center for Afghanistan Studies in the University. The books were distributed by American soldiers with the help of regional military leaders in Afghanistan. The books were intended on serving the political interests of the United States government. They were meant to spur resistance against the Soviet Union because the United States did not want the Soviet to spread the ideas of communism in Afghanistan. The unintended consequences of the textbook project include increased violence and aggression of the Afghani people against foreigners. The children being taught using the books were not able to distinguish between the Soviet and other foreign armies. They developed hatred towards any foreign forces including Americans. The project also resulted in changing perceptions of many people concerning the meaning of jihad. Because American soldiers may have been the victims of this project, those who carried out the original project are complicit in those deaths. This is because there is a proximate cause between the deaths of the soldiers and the distribution of the militarized textbooks. The generation involved in the war during the Bush era was of school going age during the implementation of the project in the 1980s. This means they were brought up hating foreigners and viewing the Afghani army as a tool of jihad to crash foreigners. As a result, the people involved in the initial project are liable for the death of American soldiers in Afghanistan.

The textbook project suggests that theories interpreting the political world as a clash of civilizations to be true. The project was intended on preventing the spread of communism in Afghanistan. This highlights a conflict between the west, which is mainly capitalist, and the communist nations. The United States was focused on preventing communist ideologies of the Soviet Union from being spread in Afghanistan. Policy makers in the United States are opposed to the distribution of books that promote religion. The United States is a secular society that focuses on enhancing the rule of law. The Middle East, on the other hand, is largely Islam and viewed as being Anti-American. The textbook project was used to drive this conflict between civilizations by painting Islam and the Middle East as being against foreigners. Reference to jihad and Islam was used to show that Afghani army was meant to protect the country from invasion by foreigners from Europe and America. Reference to jihad in the violence depicted in the textbooks shows that the foreigners should have been perceived as being against the religious beliefs of the Afghanis. This placed the religion as being the ideological issues that the two divides would not agree on. The Afghanis were trying to protect their religion and their land from invasion by foreigners who were against that religion. The report supports the aphorism of the cartoon character Pogo that we are the enemies of our own peace through the ideologies propagated and the inability to reconcile them.


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