CIA's tenet says Islamic education system is a threat
Regional-USA, Politics, 2/9/2002
US CIA Director George Tenet reaffirmed President Bush's longstanding message that the United States does not view Islam as an enemy, but expressed concern over religious schools, or madrasas, in the Muslim world that teach "intolerance and hatred."
"Islam itself is neither an enemy nor a threat to the United States.
But the increasing anger toward the West -- and toward governments friendly to us -- among Islamic extremists and their sympathizers clearly is a threat to us," said Tenet in his February 6 testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Tenet called attention to Pakistani President Musharraf's January 12 speech in which he discussed Islam and distinguished between "a narrow, intolerant, and conflict-ridden vision of the past and an inclusive, tolerant, and peace-oriented vision of the future."
Tenet also applauded Musharraf's distinction between a violent jihad, and the "greater jihad" that calls upon Muslims to practice charity.
"The speech is energizing debate across the Muslim world about which vision of Islam is the right one for the future of the Islamic community," said Tenet.
Tenet however said "All of these challenges come together in parts of the Muslim world, and let me give you just one example. One of the places where they converge that has the greatest long-term impact on any society is its educational system. Primary and secondary education in parts of the Muslim world is often dominated by an interpretation of Islam that teaches intolerance and hatred. The graduates of these schools -- 'madrasas' -- provide the foot soldiers for many of the Islamic militant groups that operate throughout the Muslim world."
He added "Let me underscore what the President has affirmed: Islam itself is neither an enemy nor a threat to the United States. But the increasing anger toward the West -- and toward governments friendly to us -- among Islamic extremists and their sympathizers clearly is a threat to us. We have seen -- and continue to see -- these dynamics play out across the Muslim world. Let me briefly address their manifestation in several key countries."
Arab League secretary general wants increased cooperation with US-Arab organizations
Moussa urges U.S. to adopt fair, impartial role in Middle East
Saudi Arabia has initiated a process of evaluating and assessing its current school syllabi
OIC criticizes Bush's remarks on 'axis of evil' as counterproductive
Saudi Arabia and the financing of religious schools
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