Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Afghanistan & The Taliban & Islamic World

Is the U.S. doing the right thing in Afghanistan?

Student presentations of key terms/concepts:
Mujahedeen - Islamic fighting force --Osama Bin Laden
Deobandi movement- Islamic movement against Western Civilization & teachings - now have grown into madrassas
Madrassa - anti-westernization; Mortensen dislikes their fundamentalist world view; seen as threat by U.S.
Wahabi - Sunni branch of Islam
ISI - Pakistani Intelligence agency; helped create the Taliban; now working to stop the Taliban. Pakistan has a history of supporting Islamic fundamentalism.

Charlie Wilson, US congressman who helped divert millions of dollars towards the Mujahideen in Afghanistan
Questions about new style fundamentalism of the Taliban:
What was the role of Islam in Afghanistan before the Taliban?
What were the major developments/disruptions to Sunni Afghan society 1979-1990 ?
How does Mortensen explain the presence of dictators in many Islamic fundamentalist movements?
What are the arguments for and against the Taliban as a legitimate government for the people of Afghanistan?

How have jihadists used religion to justify war/terrorism?  The true meaning of Islam and the Koran are not reflected by the extreme fundamentalists.
(Americans have a history of fundamentalists:  Puritans, Great Awakening, Evangelicals...)

Video: PBS Frontline: Return of the Taliban in our "classroom of the future" projected on 3 screens.
Peshawar, Pakistan - birthplace of AlQaida; new base of operations for Taliban;
Pakistan has little control in the tribal zones which have never been integrated into the Pakistani state.
Many human rights violations as Taliban terrorize the local populations. Mortensen kidnapped in the tribal area of Waziristan.

Questions to think about for tomorrow:
Is America Islamophobic? Talk to your parents/family about memories of 9/11 tragedy.

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