What may have been the unintended consequences of this textbook project?

One of the points of this course is that the cultures shaping personalities have a material basis; that is, cultures (systems of values and norms) are developed within the context of specific political and economic environments to deal with certain problems. Further, these cultural attempts to solve perceived problems are often structured to serve the interests of society’s ruling class.

Attached is an article about the promotion of a militant religious fundamentalism in Afghanistan.
After reading the article, please answer the following questions: How were the values and norms of a specific type of political Islam transmitted to Afghani children? Who developed the idea to teach children that jihad specifically meant military fighting against foreign armies within Afghanistan? Who funded (paid for) this project? Where were the school textbooks written? How were they distributed? Whose political interests were served? What may have been the unintended consequences of this textbook project? Because American soldiers in Afghanistan may have been the victims of this project, are those who carried out the original project complicit in the deaths of American soldiers? Should they be held accountable?

Without passing judgment on the political and ethical wisdom of this textbook project, what does it (i.e. the textbook project) suggest about theories that interpret the modern political world as a “clash of civilizations”? (That is, as a conflict between a predominately Christian West and a predominately Islamic Middle East; this alleged conflict is often described in terms of the following oppositional values: “secularism, democracy, rule of law versus religious fundamentalism, dictatorship, political violence/terrorism”). Another way of approaching this question would be for you, after reading the attached article, to say whether or not the report illustrates the famous aphorism of the old cartoon character Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

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