Fighting Terrorism With Education


Problem: In many undeveloped Muslim countries education is not broadly to be had to all citizens. Many of the lads and younger men in those countries get their training in small nonsecular colleges referred to as madrasas that train a strict fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law to their students. Militant Islamic extremists use those colleges as a vehicle for recruiting capability terrorists.

Solution: The citizens in these countries have proven that they are open to new colleges being constructed with investment and assistance furnished by way of western countries. These schools encourage women to take part and teach a properly rounded curriculum free of fundamentalist teachings. The ensuing improvement in literacy and information of the outdoor global creates an extra moderate factor of view and decreases poverty and overpopulation.

Every year hundreds of wealthy Westerners flock to the Himalayan Mountains in Asia hoping to overcome a number of the World’s most challenging peaks. Most will rent neighborhood villagers to manual them to the summit and to hold their tools along the manner. These villagers do the lion’s percentage of the work for what typically quantities to pennies.

In 1993 American climber Greg Mortonsen determined to try to summit the infamous K2 in Pakistan, one of the World’s highest and most dangerous peaks. While Mortonsen did no longer make it to the summit he did examine a superb deal approximately residing conditions on this wild and faraway vicinity. Mortensen had become separated from his institution at the descent and ended up stumbling down the mountain exhausted and disoriented and without shelter, meals or water. Fortunately, he managed to wander right into a tiny mountain village where he was sorted by way of the locals until he could regain his strength. As he recovered from his climb he was stunned to look the rampant poverty and high little one mortality charges (over 30%) commonplace to villages on this area.

When he found out that literacy had only been finished by using much less than 3% of the inhabitants Mortensen saw how he should most successfully supply back to the individuals who so typed to him in his hour of want. Mortensen felt that schooling become the key to reducing poverty, decreasing toddler mortality, and slowing birth quotes. He began elevating money to assist construct schools. One of his requirements for constructing a brand new college turned into that it needed to permit ladies to attend. Mortensen realized that teaching the ladies become the key to making progress on poverty, toddler mortality, and excessive beginning costs.

Mortensen turned on to something. Studies have proven that in nations in which girls have received expanded schooling there are steady consequences that improve the best of life in that USA. Poverty prices and infant mortality drop drastically as education increases. Economies grow and birth rates drop as greater women enter the personnel. Mortensen understood that poverty and lack of know-how are the motivating social factors that gasoline spiritual extremism. If he ought to lessen lack of awareness and poverty although education; in particular education for girls, then he ought to reduce the motivation for the religious extremism that is used to recruit terrorists.

When Mortensen first commenced elevating cash he did no longer get an awful lot of a response from the famous and rich human beings he tried to touch. His pleasant response got here from American college children. A group of primary children in Wisconsin raised over $six hundred in pennies to assist his motive. This got the eye of adults who started taking Greg’s venture greater significantly and become the beginning of a software known as Pennies for Peace. Today, Pennies for Peace educates American college kids approximately existence in different countries and shows them how the pennies they improve can help to make the arena a higher place for youngsters in other international locations. The money those youngsters boost is sent immediately to Pakistan and Afghanistan for the building of colleges and athletic facilities.

Today Greg Morton presides over the Central Asia Institute. The mission of the Central Asia Institute is: To promote and provide network-based totally education and literacy packages, specifically for ladies, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia. This year schools constructed via Greg Mortensen and the CAI knowledgeable over 20,000 kids within the fifty-five colleges which have been constructed inside the ultimate 12 years. Nearly 50% of those college students are girls. CAI makes positive than girls are afforded access to this education via requiring that the enrollment of ladies be extended through 10% each year. The curriculum at CAI faculties is focused on math, science, and languages. Students from CAI schools averaged seventy-two % on exams to qualify for the middle school closing year. In the assessment, the national average in Pakistan is much less than forty-five %. In addition to constructing schools, CAI has also advanced over 15 water projects and constructed four girls’ vocational centers.

All too regularly in those areas, the best source of useful resource and guide for these villagers comes from Taliban militants or extremist companies funded by way of money from Saudi Arabia. These corporations take complete advantage of this dependency to suppress rights for girls and herd younger men and boys into the madrassas when they may be indoctrinated with extreme fundamentalist ideology, and later by means of recruiting for terrorism. The training provided by way of the CAI schools gives an alternative to this course, and the opportunity to enhance lifestyles in these villages without becoming beholden to warlords and nonsecular extremists.

When Mortensen first started his challenge to provide schooling and help to the oldsters in remote Pakistan and Afghanistan he did not enjoy much help again at domestic. Even greater daunting become the hazard posed by means of the nearby tribal chieftains and clergy. Several instances Mortensen almost gave his lifestyles for his challenge whilst fatwas have been issued for his death by using indignant mullahs suspicious that he turned into a spy for the US government. Mortensen once survived an armed kidnapping by using escaping and hiding under a pile of animal carcasses as they had been being transported out of the city. Even in the face of risk Mortensen persisted and continued constructing schools and relationships until his detractors had been convinced of the value of his contributions.

Apparently, effects speak loudly in those impoverished regions. Saeed Abbas Rizvi, the senior Shiite spiritual chief in Pakistan, changed into so inspired by using Mortensen’s paintings that he approached the Supreme Council of Ayatollahs in Iran and controlled to obtain a completely uncommon letter of advice for Mortensen to assist defend him from the local mullahs and clergy. As information of his fulfillment traveled home Mortensen earned the respect of some outstanding individuals of Congress who’re now in the help of the work of the Central Asia Institute.

There are many instructions to be discovered from the fulfillment of the Central Asia Institute and the respect Greg Mortensen has earned from Muslim leaders. One of these is a lesson in economics. Mortensen has shown that making an funding in lowering poverty and lack of information may be the maximum price powerful approach to terrorism. He contends that “If we ought to have the $1 million for the purchase of 1 Tomahawk cruise missile dropped at the Taliban transformed to education help, we should strike an extreme blow on terrorism.” Another lesson is that teaching women may be the most effective way to fight poverty and lack of awareness. To quote Mortensen; “Girls schooling is an effective sword within the conflict on terrorism.” It makes you wonder if plenty of the money spent at the battle on terror could have been higher spent on educating women and lowering poverty and ignorance inside the locations in which terrorists are recruited.