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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Muslim Allies

In all fairness, there are alot of Muslims around the world who are helping coalition forces in the fight against Islamic extremism. "As was the case in the 20th Century, more Muslims in the 21st Century are being killed by Islamic extremists than by non-Muslims" and many rational Muslims realize this. Aydemir Erman, who was Turkey’s special coordinator for Afghanistan from 1991 to 2003 and an advisor for several years afterward comments on the over 800 Turkish troops now stationed in Afghanistan and writes...

"Turks have aided the Afghan government and its people since the days of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, the “Iron Amir” who unified the country during his reign from 1880 to 1901 and embarked on a path of modernization. Afghanistan was the second country to recognize modern Turkey in 1921 after the USSR. Modern Turkey was instrumental in establishing the military academy, medical school, Kabul University and its faculty of political sciences, the music conservatory, and the public health service of Afghanistan...

In my contacts with the Taliban during those years as Turkey’s special coordinator for Afghanistan, we pulled no punches. I explicitly told the Taliban leaders that we would not extend recognition to their regime. Turkey recognized the rump government of President Barhanuddin Rabbani that remained in only a small part of Afghanistan, mainly Badakshan Province and the Panshir Valley, until he was replaced by Hamid Karzai after the Taliban were driven from power by the US after 9/11.

We openly criticized the Taliban’s lack of governing capacity, their profiteering from the opium trade, their support for terror organizations like Al Qaeda, and their treatment of their own people.Despite all this criticism, the Taliban nonetheless gave my colleagues and me free access to travel the country. I was always respected, and we were able to perform humanitarian work all over the Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan. I was told on several occasions by the Taliban leaders that as much as they may scorn my remarks, as a Turk I was welcomed...

In the critical province of Wardak, Turkey today is also operating the only civilian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team. Generally, PRTs are operated by NATO soldiers. Since 2006, the Turkish government has spent $20 million in the province funding a police training academy, building schools, restoring a mosque, and setting up a medical clinic.Halim Fedai, the governor of Wardak Province, has said: “The Turkish programs are very well received and readily accepted by Afghans because they work within Afghan culture. They are sensitive to Afghan values. We have very good, strong, historical relationships with Turkey.”

If NATO sticks to a clear mandate within a defined time frame for withdrawal and the international community allocates sufficient resources, Afghanistan can be brought back into the fold of the international community. Turkey helped them join the world when Afghanistan was a young nation. It can do so again today."

I just wanted to provide a little balance after yesterday's installment. The mainstream media is good for whining that "Islam is a religion of Peace" ad nauseum, but then they don't point to many positive examples to support this idea and instead they focus on isolated incidents of intolerance and try to portray it as the norm. According to the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affair Council, there are approximately 20,000 Muslims serving in the military. We thank these sometimes overlooked patriots for their service and look forward with them to the day when Islamic extremism is no more and we can then bring the boys home.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Thank you for this post JD, I appreciate what you're saying and showing here