Welcome to The Kettle!

Primarily, "The Kettle" publicizes and manages the "Three Cups of Tea Book Project." However, as described in our very first post (click here), we also hope to use "The Kettle" as a medium for individuals interested in social issues to become more aware of the lives of those less fortunate. Ideally, whatever we write or publish here will take that nascent concern and transform it into action. To inspire any action, small or large, in the genuine interest of doing better for the world is our ultimate goal.

Though heavily slanted towards Pakistan and Afghanistan presently, we do try to include news, opinions, and reference materials regarding diverse topics, including poverty, reconstruction, human rights, Africa, "Green" developments, Micro Finance, and other solutions and considerations for what are essentially man made problems in the world. In the universe of charitable options, we endorse and support multigenerational solutions and initiatives for multigenerational problems.

The education made possible by the Central Asia Institute is one such solution, but there are certainly others. We encourage the commitment of resources and people that goes beyond merely "patriarchal" handouts to the multitude of people in need. We agree that it is good to charitable, but charity that only treats the symptoms and not the root causes has proven to be insufficient. A consistent commitment to work with the local communities of people in need to provide and/or improve education, nutrition, access to capital, human rights, security, sustainable development/redevelopment, and environmental stewardship are what will lead to an enduring improvement in people's lives.

If you have any questions, general comments, and suggestions for improvements, please leave a comment on any of the posts below, and we'll follow up with you!

The Kettle's shared items

Monday, May 4, 2009

NY Times: "Pakistan’s Islamic Schools Fill Void, but Fuel Militancy"

Published: May 4, 2009
"Pakistan’s poorest families have turned to Islamic schools that feed and house children while pushing a militant brand of Islam."
This article describes the link between some madrasas (Islamic Schools) and the growth of militant Islamic Fundamentalism. Rashid Ahmed writes about the same connection in "Descent in to Chaos," as does Tom Friedman in "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," and Greg Mortenson in "Three Cups of Tea." Basically, it is believed by many that the majority of suicide bombers go through extremist madrasas. I specify extremist madrasas because not all madrasas are teaching a militant brand of Islam. In fact the majority of them, do not. Unfortunately, there are many madrasas that teach little more than memorization of the Koran. While only a minority of madrasas is directly linked to militant movements, the article posits that a singular focus on conservative interpretation of the Koran is a "stepping stone" to more militant ideals. Ultimately, fundamentalist madrasas are only a symptom of a more systematic failure of the government in Pakistan to provide education and basic welfare to the millions of Pakistanis. In fact, it is widely believed that madrasas have long been purposely supported by the Pakistani government (with help from the U.S. government during the cold war) as an unofficial military force to support Pakistani interests in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Nowadays, many madrasas are funded by money from Saudi Arabia. If Pakistan had spent less money on the military and more on education, perhaps its stability wouldn't be threatened today by a resurgent Islamic militant movement. My question is, where did the $650 million in non military U.S. aid go? Where is the accountability?
-- The Kettle Rumbles

No comments:

Post a Comment