Monday, March 25, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

Greg Mortenson may not agree with me a bit. But this is how I see what he is doing in Afghanistan. And I may not be drinking ‘three cups of tea’ with him on this.

In more ways, Greg is more Muslim and Islamic than all the Arab and Muslim leaders, who only like to show they are so but not do what they are supposed to do as prescribed in the Holy Koran; with some of them have oil in their hands and some blood – from their own kind mostly. 

He has made full use of the many three cups of tea that he had had with the tribal elders and other individuals, but not the Arab and Muslim leaders who seem to have drunk it and got drunk in the process so much so that they are incapable of forming any rational thinking and action.

Some may have been drown in oil and also gold and diamonds to join in the company of the infamous character known by many Arabs and Muslims as Karun whose name and misdeeds are mentioned in the Holy Koran.

So every time Greg’s opens a school anywhere in Afghanistan, by piling up stones, what he does is in fact, dropping them down on the heads of the Arab and Muslim leaders who only know how to throw stones at each other.

I have just finished reading Greg Mortenson’s ‘Stones to Schools’ and found it inspiring.

So in more ways than one, Greg has been collecting stones to pile them one by one over until he is able to construct a school, the stones that the Arab and Muslim leaders had caused to become loose.

How on earth could someone from so far away in Montana find his way to Afghanistan, a Muslim country which not many Muslims would dare even to mention, let alone go to for fun?

I have not been to this country before. The closest I have been to is Iran, and for some strange reasons I bumped into an Afghan refugee working as a waiter in a restaurant who approached me and who thought I was his countryman. I am not; I am Malaysian.

There is however, one issue I want and can dispute or take issue with Greg, which is the one concerning the virtues of having a proper education which he overgeneralize and also agreed by some other characters in the book that were mentioned, how those who are educated would invariably be drawn away from fanaticism.

Is that so?

It that is so, why then the better educated American generals and politicians and other lobbyists in Washington, D.C., are too happy to cause hardship to befall onto people in Afghanistan, Iraq and some other countries, which are not necessary Arab or Muslim ones, but also Catholic ones such as Cuba and the others in South America?

Aren’t the Americans who had benefited from the high quality education that is available in the country, to know how to better behave themselves and not over-react to impulses that were created by the Zionist zealots and other self-serving individuals in the Israeli Knesset and political or military organizations?

American leaders have tended to become more vulnerable to such pressures.

And as I write, American president Barack Obama is in Palestine, after making a brief stop at Tel Aviv, Israel, where he made some general repetitive statement about how both countries – Israel and Palestine ought to return to the peace table.

This is old story. And it is happening as more and more Palestinian land is seized by the Zionist forces.

Coming back to ‘Stones to School’ one cannot imagine the difficulties Greg had to overcome simply to be able to live in Afghanistan which had been destroyed beyond comprehension.

And what more for him and his Dirty Dozen in the country and the Central Asia Institute (CAI) in Bozeman, Montana to be able to hold the fort to pursue a common goal of seeing more and more female Afghans going to school to get a decent education.

It is a responsibility of the state which they had neglected.

And for that matter it is also the responsibility of all Arabs and Muslims all over the world to ensure that Afghans get not only a semblance of education but a good one.

Unfortunately, the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC – Oh, I see…?) does not seem to care.

Each time there is a OIC summit, the fifty-seven Arab and Muslim leaders talk about things that do not matter to the Muslim Ummah; while their wives to on a shopping spree buying luxurious personal items that they could not get in the stores in their own countries.

Yet, most of them are wives of leaders of some of the poorest countries in the Muslim World; yet, their only interest is to get better clothes, shoes and handbags.

Their personal welfare and appearance is more important and pressing for them to look after and not that of their own people many of whom are walking barefooted and who do not get enough of food to survive.

Greg’s appearance in Afghanistan therefore can be seen as a huge blow not only to the, Oh, I see…OIC, but also to the more wealthy Arab financiers and political leaders, who live in palaces employing many from the Philippines.

And it is also ironic how the Pakistan government could confer the Sitara e-Pakistan award which is the highest civilian award that the country can offer to anyone, on Greg. This to me shows the depravity of their own mentality.

Whereas what Greg has been doing over the last many years is a huge blow to this particular country and also to Afghanistan, and all the other Arab and Muslim countries, yet, none of the political and financial leaders seem to know of it. They are just happy to offer Greg the award and feel satisfied that they had done justice to him.

They might as well give him tons of stones to build new schools as opposed to the star award that he can only hang around his neck which he could not use to build any school with.

They did not even have the decency to ask themselves about what they as a government could do for their own people, whose financial and human resources could be put to better use to help them.

And I did not think it was Greg’s intention to get the sort of attention from Pakistan; he would rather get some financial aid and in kind to allow him to build more schools in other remote areas to benefit more students, both male and female.

Final note: It is worthy to mention David Patraeus who was joint chiefs of the American army, and the then president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, both of whom had to leave office in shame. Yet, just yesterday, Pervez said he would be returning to Pakistan in his bid to run for re-election as president, six years after he was forced to flee from his country to live in exile in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Afghans and many Arabs suffered and are still suffering because of the flawed foreign policies of America which seem to favor the artificially-created Zionist state of Israel, for without which there would be peace in the Middle East with the Arabs and other Muslims enjoying better relations with Americans. So no new stones would have to be used to build schools in Afghanistan.

This is the issue which ‘Stones to Schools’ did not discuss. 

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