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    In this file photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, Afghan children recite the Quran, Islam's holy book, at a local Madrassa, or seminary, in Kabul, Afghanistan

    US-funded Education Programs in Afghanistan Foment Unrest

    © AP Photo / Rahmat Gul, File
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    The anti-infidel message contained in textbooks that were being disseminated in refugee camps in Pakistan could easily be repurposed by those who seek to indoctrinate Afghan youths to support the anti-NATO struggle, according to a professor at New York University.

    MOSCOW, December 8 (Sputnik) — US-funded educational aid to Afghanistan in the 1980s may have helped exacerbate the religious conflict in the country, Al Jazeera America reports.

    According to Dana Burde, a professor at New York University, the anti-infidel message contained in textbooks like “The Alphabet of Jihad Literacy” that were being disseminated in refugee camps in Pakistan could easily be repurposed by those who seek to indoctrinate Afghan youths to support the anti-NATO struggle.

    The majority of such books promote violence in the name of Islam; Professor Burde managed to obtain several copies. Along with vilifying Soviets and communists in general, the textbooks also describe all nonbelievers as enemies.

    Furthermore, US educational funding in Afghanistan after 9/11 and the subsequent US-led War in Afghanistan may also have backfired, the professor notes, according to Al Jazeera. As the education program’s goal at that time was to help stabilize the country, the majority of the funding was directed to the regions at the heart of the ongoing insurgency. As a result, the more peaceful communities were thus often passed over in terms of support, and started feeling more resentful toward foreigners and the central government, Professor Burde asserts.

    The publication of these textbooks that were distributed among the Afghan refugees in the 1980s was funded by USAID; their content was written by mujahedeen groups with the support of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency and the CIA. Proponents of the US-led mission to Afghanistan commonly cite educational statistics as evidence that the war there was a success.

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    Tags:
    education, insurgency, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Afghanistan, United States
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