Libraries vs. Islamists
A brief but hopeful Associated Press item discusses one way in which libraries can help defeat Islamist extremism:
Jordan has launched a US-funded library book program in its public primary schools to encourage critical thinking in an effort to more away from rote education.
More than 2 million books belonging to the "My Arabic Library" collection are being used in 2,000 public schools in Jordan, said Fatenah Amawi, Jordan's representative for the New York-based publisher Scholastic Corp.
"My Arabic Library" includes novels and science books that have been translated into Arabic for students in grades one to six in the Middle East.
Fostering the growth of critical thinking is exactly what is needed to break down the atmosphere of intolerance and xenophobia that fosters radical Islamism. Which is exactly why Al Qaeda fears such "interference in the education curricula and information media of the Islamic world".
This is the kind of project that American librarians could, indeed should, support.