Monday, December 13, 2010

Mosques of America

This is a photo of a local government official in Khogyani, Nangarhar, and an attendant of some sort, each perusing a copy of a photo book of pictures of mosques in America. They were fascinated. The attendant, who in keeping with his job mostly hung around the periphery and didn't say much, was so intrigued by the book of American mosque pictures that he needed to come get a copy and take a look for himself.

It is shocking how many people in Afghanistan literally don't believe that there are mosques in America. The Lovely Katherine escorted a visiting American Imam around Kabul and some outlying provinces, and reported that at many of the medrassas and mosques where he spoke, the students literally did not believe at first that he could be a Muslim from America, because everyone knows that Muslims in America are persecuted or jailed or worse. I wish there were an easy way to fix it.

So you've got some ridiculous percentage of Americans believing President Obama is a Muslim (as if there would be some horrible problem if he were) and some ridiculous percentage of Afghans believing that there are no Muslims in America. I'm not supposed to get into policy issues in this forum, but it seems there just might be some space for further public diplomacy here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel