Juan Cole on ENGAGING THE MUSLIM WORLD: An Overview for Teachers
Alan Shapiro provides background for teachers on the 'standoff' between the Muslim world and the West through an overview of the new book by Middle East scholar Juan Cole.
by Alan Shapiro
Oil and terrorism
Muslim radicals' anxiety
Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan
Engaging the Muslim world
- recognition of "the legitimate and economic discontents of the rural population" in Afghanistan and Pakistan and an effort "to redress them with well considered aid programs instead of with bombs."
- cooperation between Interpol, the FBI, and security agencies in the Muslim world to counter violent radical groups.
- cultural interchange. Cole thinks major works of Islamic civilization and current religious and political thought need to be made available to all. He also thinks the works of Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. should be translated into Arabic. These works cannot now be found in Cairo and Beirut bookstores.
- Redirecting the billions of dollars of aid that Pakistan now uses to pay for high-tech arms from the U.S. Instead, Cole says, aid money should support the government school system's effort to open students' minds.
- "ensuring Iran's energy independence and assuring the government that the United States will not attempt to overthrow it."
- making a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict "the highest priority" of the Obama administration
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