Combating Anti-American Influence of Radical Islamic Schools

(Washington Post) Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, have begun raising the sensitive issue of whether the U.S., either openly or covertly, should combat the anti-American influence of radical Islamic schools in Muslim countries. Some of the schools, called madrassas, have been seen as a breeding ground for anti-American terrorists, and Rumsfeld raised the issue in his private Oct. 16 memo to top aides about the current war on terrorism. One way to counter those schools, Wolfowitz said, would be to cut off the funding that often comes from Saudis promoting Wahhabism, a particularly austere and rigid form of Islam. But he suggested that a better way would be to channel support to people who oppose the schools, though he acknowledged that "we're not very good at doing that yet."

2003-11-05 00:00:00

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