Cleveland protests erupt after officer found not guilty in fatal shooting of two unarmed suspects | Saudi clerics urge calm as village hit by Islamic State seethes | Irish voters back gay marriage in 'social revolution' | Irish voters back gay marriage in 'social revolution' | Arab air strikes hit military bases in Yemen | Greek PM says on final stretch toward deal with lenders | Israel thanks U.S. for stand on Mideast nuclear arms ban at U.N. | Fate of U.S. domestic surveillance program uncertain after Senate vote | In chaos of deadly Texas gang fight, self-defense claims may abound | Shi'ite militias advance on Islamic State insurgents near Iraq's Ramadi | Safety measures ordered for failed oil pipeline in California | Germany declines comment on reported 'deep freeze' with U.S. intelligence | Bank of England confirms EU exit research after email misfire | Islamic State raises flag over citadel in Syria's Palmyra: supporters | Mexico gunfight kills 43 as government hits gang hard | Suicide bomber kills 21 at Saudi Shi'ite mosque, Islamic State claims attack | Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban torpedoes U.N. conference | Senate votes to grant Obama fast-track power on trade deals | Clinton emails show concern about image after Benghazi | Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban torpedoes U.N. conference | US debates private and state internet surveillance | Ethiopia votes with ruling party set to return | Iraqi army in counter-offensive near ISIL-held Ramadi | ISIL pushes for control of Iraq's Anbar province | Nigerian airlines cancel flights amid fuel crisis | Yemeni president to snub UN-sponsored talks in Geneva | Burundi opposition figure Zedi Feruzi shot dead | Ireland says big 'Yes' to gay marriage in world first | Xavi lifts trophy for Barcelona in La Liga farewell | Deaths as al-Shabab fighters attack two Somali towns |

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.

As our
world shrinks,
the necessity
to understand
it grows…

May  2015
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