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Schools for Conflict or for Peace in Afghanistan$
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Dana Burde

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169288

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169288.001.0001

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Jihad Literacy

Jihad Literacy

(p.55) 3 Jihad Literacy
Schools for Conflict or for Peace in Afghanistan

Dana Burde

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the disposition of U.S.-sponsored jihadist curriculum in Afghanistan. It begins by discussing the theory of negative curricula that explains the likelihood of conflict. The theory states that while textbooks create a culture of intolerance and hate, public support for militancy is more likely to increase. For instance, when these textbooks are framed in religious lessons, young people are implicitly encouraged to engage in violence and defend their faith. Under the guise of humanitarian aid, the theory is deeply embedded in the U.S. funded curriculum and textbook project. The project introduced a number of reforms, including child-centered classrooms and community participation. The chapter explores how this education intervention promoted conflict at the time of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Keywords:   U.S.-sponsored jihadist curriculum, U.S. textbook project, Afghanistan, theory of negative curricula, education intervention, Soviet invasion

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