Fighting rages in Yemeni capital despite accord | Kurds issue new call to arms against Islamic State in Syria | Nationalist leader says Scots tricked out of independence | Afghanistan's presidential rivals sign power-sharing deal | Ukraine says ceasefire violations hold up creation of buffer zone | New Zealand PM storms to third term but faces slowing growth ahead | Relief over Scotland gives way to 'Great Stagnation' worries | Wife of Alan Henning, Briton held by Islamic State, pleads for his release | Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine: lawyer | G20 says nearing growth goal, but more needed from Europe | Exclusive: Iran seeks give and take on militants, nuclear program | China says will not alter policy because of one economic indicator | Fiji coup leader Bainimarama claims election victory | White House intruder was armed with knife: officials | Munitions factory hit in Ukraine's Donetsk, buffer zone to be set up | About 60,000 Syrian Kurds flee to Turkey from Islamic State advance | 14 Pakistanis freed from U.S. custody in Afghanistan's Bagram prison: lawyers | Pope names moderate as Chicago archbishop, key role in U.S. Church | Brown says London must keep promise to Scotland as political truce ends | Turkey secures release of hostages held by Islamic State | French jets strike in Iraq, expanding U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State | North Korea says imprisoned American tried to become 'second Snowden' | Exclusive: Hyundai directors kept in dark on size of $10 billion land bid - sources | Secret Service investigates after man jumps White House fence, reaches doors | As G20 chases growth goal, members differ on how to get there | Houthis seize government buildings in Sanaa | Turkish forces fend off Kurdish protesters | Ashraf Ghani declared winner of Afghan poll | Policeman killed in blast near Egypt ministry | Russians stage anti-Ukraine war in Moscow | ISIL captive's wife pleads for his release | New York readies for huge climate-change march | Year after Westgate, Kenyans still in anguish | Man with knife breaks into White House | Ebola burial team attacked in Sierra Leone |

March 27, 2012: Soldiers Visit with Islamic Center’s Members as Cultural Lesson

Soldiers Visit with Islamic Center’s Members as Cultural Lesson Troops learn how to be special-operations liaisons between troops, public overseas. By Josh Jarman The Columbus Dispatch

They arrived in Humvees and military fatigues.

They left carrying free copies of the Quran.

If their mission was successful, the 30 or so Army Reserve soldiers from B Company, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), also left the Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Hilliard yesterday with a greater understanding of Islam and experience interacting with people from other cultures.

The soldiers spent about three hours at the center eating traditional Indian and Middle Eastern foods and talking in small groups with members of the mosque, many of whom were born overseas.

Capt. Patrick Seaman said it was his idea to take the troops to the center because no amount of training can replace real-world experience talking to, and gaining the trust of, people from different cultural backgrounds.
Seaman said the soldiers who took part are paratroopers with special-operations training. But their missions aren’t about blowing up bridges or capturing strategic locations; they serve as cultural liaisons between fellow soldiers and residents, he said.

“Our job is to win the hearts and minds,” Seaman said. “I don’t want the first time they are talking to someone from another country or faith to be (while deployed).”

Asim Haque, a member of the center’s board of directors, said the event was as good for the members of the mosque as it was for the soldiers.

Part of the center’s mission, Haque said, is to be a clearinghouse for information on Islam in the Columbus area.
Haque said the center has a duty to help U.S. troops become more comfortable interacting with Muslims and people born in countries where the troops could be deployed.
“There’s a lot we can offer,” he said. “If we don’t help with this in Columbus, Ohio, who will?”

Spc. Curtis Hale said the event helped both the soldiers and the mosque members to break down stereotypes and cultural barriers. Being able to sit down and strike up an hour-long conversation really shows the groups’ commonalities instead of the differences, Hale said.

… To read the full story, visit The Columbus Dispatch website here.

The CCWA opens our eyes to the richness and heritage that exist beyond our borders.

- Justice Evelyn L. Stratton,
Ohio Supreme Court Justice

September  2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30