Monday, July 4, 2016

The Hijab Policy Paper

I came across an article that talks about the hijab. Believe me, it was absurd, bizarre and comical.

A US policy paper – first published in 2011 and a revised version published online in January 2016 by the open source research website Public Intelligence – issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory, titled “Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods & Strategies”, and it includes a chapter setting forth controversial and unsubstantiated theories of radicalization, including the idea that support for militant groups is driven by “sexual deprivation” and that headscarves worn by Muslim women represent a form of “passive terrorism”.

The said chapter titled “A Strategic Plan to Defeat Radical Islam” was written by Dr Tawfik Hamid, a self-described former Islamic extremist and fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies – and it contains a number of peculiar prescriptions on how to defeat terrorism, few of which appear to be supported by empirical evidence.

Hamid did not make clear how he reached these conclusions.

On his personal website, he describes himself as “an Islamic thinker and reformer” and says he has a medical degree in internal medicine from Cairo University and a master’s degree in cognitive psychology and educational techniques from the University of Auckland. He also claims credit “for developing one of the most innovative Cognitive Psychology models, the Multi-Dimensional Learning Model”.

Hamid’s thoughts are apparently influential within the US government; he says on his website that his opinion has been solicited by a wide range of government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Special Operations Command, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It is not clear if he has been paid for his appearances at these agencies.

It just goes to show that some Americans are easily taken in. Like 47 percent of Malaysians.

I only spent a day at the Sunway TES Youth Leadership Program (July 2-3, 2016)  but even so, this Toastmasters event was successfully conducted by three Division P Toastmasters clubs, i.e. ITC Bintang, TMIKL and Liquid Gold Advanced. 

It was our second round of YLP to cater to forty Peneraju students.

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