General, I’d be glad to help you with this study. You can start with my Blogging the Qur’an series, and I’ll also provide you with selected passages to study. I can be reached at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
“Top US General Meets Tribes Ahead of Afghan Surge,” from AP, April 10 (thanks to all who sent this in):
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — The top U.S. general in Afghanistan reached out to influential Afghan tribesmen in regions where U.S. troops will soon deploy, apologizing for past mistakes and saying he is now studying the Quran, the Muslim holy book.
Gen. David McKiernan met with villagers in Helmand and Kandahar — two of Afghanistan’s most violent provinces — in an attempt to foster good will ahead of the U.S. troop surge that will send 21,000 more forces here this summer to stem an increasingly violent Taliban insurgency.
McKiernan said he wanted to show respect to tribal elders by traveling to Kandahar on Wednesday to explain some of the mistakes U.S. forces have made in the past — such as arresting people based on information taken from one side in a tribal fight, or killing civilians during operations.
”I’m trying to connect to the local population in a bottom-up way and try to explain what the new U.S. strategy means and why they’re going to see an increased force presence where they live,” McKiernan said during the trip to Kandahar aboard the seven passenger jet he flies in….
”I’m reading a very good book now about this part of the world. It’s written in English, but it’s all about you — it’s the Quran,” McKiernan said to applause. Moments later an Afghan man stood up and gave McKiernan a bright purple, red and green cloth in which to wrap the translated version of holy book….