Sunday, April 17, 2016

Human Rights and the War on Terror

Approaching the end of a semester I am always looking for relevant content. These last units change from year to year depending on what I'm interested in, what topics students have covered in their independent projects or what's current in the news.  Over the last several years I've found myself going back to Masuda Sultan's memoir My War At Home.  Published in 2006, the book opens many different topics for us to tackle, all of which are still very relevant and pressing.  In the first part of the book Sultan reflects on her experiences as an Afghan and Muslim immigrant to America.  It's a great opportunity to bring in intertwining issues of immigration - so prevalent in this election year - the clash of religion and culture, Islamic feminism, and Western (mis)understandings of Islam.  9/11 provides the backdrop for the second two-thirds of the book.  As an Afghan and Muslim in America, Sultan provides a unique perspective on America's role in the world and the "war on terror."  Sultan experiences first hand the impact of U. S. military power on a human scale.

Though approaching ten years since it's publication, I find this book still invaluable in its relevancy and relatability for students.