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Dealing with Afghanistan
By: - Fawzy Farrag


Dealing with Afghanistan
Dear Mr. President,
As a US citizen residing in the USA for close to 40 years, and also happened to be Muslim at birth, and with the knowledge of both the American western as well as the Middle eastern cultures and ways of living, I feel obligated to voice my opinion and suggestions to the situation in Afghanistan, and what is the best or even perhaps the Only way to deal with it.
If history can teach us anything, it would be one thing, no military force will win a sustained victory in that region or this nation, the British could not, the Russians could not, and every other invader to that country could not change it permanently to the way they intended to, and likewise the US will not manage to claim any sort of victory there, regardless of how many troops we put on the ground, and how many missiles we launch at them.
No force can change the ideology and or the deep seated beliefs of the American people from freedom loving nation governed by a democratic government to -for example-   a totalitarian nation governed by a dictatorship, and so the same goes for the  Afghanis , with their beliefs that are engraved in their minds and culture for centuries. The roots for their belief has to do with Islam as a religion and Muslims as believers, no Islamic nation on this planet has changed its – faith based Ideology – as a result of invasion by another power, period.
The Taliban, a name that means “students”, were able to control the minds and behavior of their people because they played on their religious beliefs, they misrepresented the faith of Islam just as all other fanatics and extremists in Islam regardless of which nation they try to control, the only difference between, say Afghanistan and Turkey or Egypt is the level of education anEgypt is the level of education and awareness between the masses and the presence of different interpretations of the religion. While you may still find in both countries (Turkey and Egypt) some fanatics and extremists, you will easily find what we call moderates and liberal Muslims, however, the same cannot be said about Afghanistan.  The ratio between educated people and uneducated is significantly low, illiteracy is extremely high, even some of the educated Afghanis, may still hold the same ideas or similar ones to the Taliban because there is no other alternative, in addition, the Taliban once ruled the country, still hold some of the old clout that they acquired then, plus the fact that they are armed to the teeth against unarmed population. So they possess both the guns and the “misinterpretation “of faith by which they control the majority of the population.
With those who fear God and hold tight to their religion, they believe what the Taliban tell them about the infidels and what the prophet of Islam said, they tell them stories from what is called “Hadeeth” meaning the sayings of the prophet, which by and large contradicts the holy book of Islam; the Quran; as well as the behavior of the prophet according to the holy book itself.  In my humble opinion, there where the true fight against fanaticism and terrorism should begin.
Nothing will change the minds of any Muslim nation, including and specifically Afghanistan, and turn them 180 degrees except to teach them the true practices of Islam and what the authentic instructions in the holy book says about killing the innocent or about who should they follow to achieve justice peace and prosperity the way God intended them to be, or what really is meant by the word “Jihad”.
No amount of bombs or tanks or force will yield a permanent change in them, these tools may have a very temporary and short term effect, but any long term change has to come from within by teaching them that what the Taliban and extremists are doing and saying is totally and unequivocally wrong and goes against the basic principles of Islam, and what they (Taliban and Qaeda) are doing is either out of total ignorance, or intentional misinterpretation for their own gains.
It will take a fraction of what we spend on military deployment to have as many as we could possibly place there of Educated Muslims, preferably Afghanis who understand the true meaning of Islam, to teach the masses there, through a massive media blitz , TV programs and radio talk show even if takes 24 hrs a day to attract and to interact with the population with a focus on showing the contradictions between what the Taliban or Al-Qaeda are saying and what the actual true Islam is saying, things like women dress code, that is unlike anything in any Islamic society and is a pure invention of those who want to control women there, things like stoning  and beating  women ,  and so many other things that kept their society in the dark ages , while Islam advocate education and learning for both men and women alike. How many TV sets or radios can we buy and distribute for the price of one tank or one helicopter!.
There are so many things that terrorists like Taliban and Al-Qaeda preach to the masses which are fabricated to make them believe that going against them is just like going against God himself, and if we can take that weapon away from them, they will lose support of the masses, and very likely that the masses will turn against them for misleading and abusing them for many decades and taking advantage of their illiteracy. Perhaps starting with a focus on some cities or districts first and then spread out to the rest of the country, people who can speak the language, who look like them and who they can trust. A TV channel or channels that would be devoted entirely to this issue or whatever it takes to attract the masses to watch and learn the facts about Islam and how flawed, wicked and inaccurate the myth the Taliban spreads as Islam.  With the right leadership and the right individuals in place to teach and convince the Afghanis that what they inherited and what they have been brainwashed with is total fabrication and have no place in True Islam.
 This will create a true ally against the Taliban who will fight them back without fear that they are on the side of the devil or that they are fighting God if they fought against the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. We can accomplish in one year what we cannot accomplish in ten years using the might and force of the military.
If we win this battle, the battle of misinformation about faith, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, winning the other military battle will be much easier, as the masses will see that those Taliban and the likes are terrorists who never represented Islam in the first place.
Truly yours
Fawzy Farrag

The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.

Comments ( 1 )
Comment By   Fawzy Farrag     - 2009-10-10
Dear Brother Arrar,
 Dear Brother Arrar, I am very much aware of what you mentioned in regards to the environment and the social backwardness in those societies, I am also aware of the history of that region, despite all of that, we cannot and should not forget the terror that was inflicted on the US and many other places around the world by the likes of AL-Qaeda whose bases and training were done in Afghanistan, and during the past few years they have spread like a pandemic infection in that region that they are now threatening to take over Pakistan. Pulling away from there is not a viable or practical solution; the results could be one hell of a catastrophe not just for the US but the entire Middle East and beyond. They are becoming like a cancer that must be surgically removed, and to be able to accomplish that , we MUST get the cooperation of the locals there, nothing will get their cooperation short of educating them, and I am not talking about the conventional education, where we see so many countries that have plenty of that kind of education and still falls victim to the religious myth of those extremists, I am here talking about crash courses in uncovering the myth by which they brainwash the locals with, that being against the terrorists is like being against God himself, if we manage to dislodge this myth from their minds, it will be much easier to defeat them , just by getting the cooperation of the locals, and that was the cornerstone of my message.