The book “Three Cups of Tea” was a good read for me.  Being a person that rarely reads a whole book, I couldn’t drop it once I started reading.  The inspirational story was very interesting to me, even though I could practically touch the bias towards Greg Mortenson while I was reading.  Was there anyone that could have objectively written about a man like Mortenson?

Since 9/11, distrust and misunderstanding for the Islam has greatly increased and is seen throughout our society.  A comedian, I believe Carlos Mencia, said something very memorable in one of his stand-up performances.  To summarize, he said that every single race that has been mistreated went up to “Ahmed” (a name representing the Muslim people) is now “it”.  Referring to the game of tag, he just wanted to emphasize the mistreatment of Muslim people that has happened & most likely continue to happen.

One thing to bring tolerance & understanding is to do it here in the United States.  Recently, I heard from friends and some Internet sources thought that Barack Obama would not be elected because of his middle name, Hussein.  Some news sources even said that a relation with the Muslim religion would greatly discredit Obama.  Of course, this did not happen and maybe it shows that a majority of the country would not be bothered by this.  However, the fact that news sources would  bring this up makes it clear that prejudice still exists towards Muslims in the U.S.  People should have a greater understanding of Islam in order to bring tolerance & understanding towards areas in the Middle East.

When I read the book, I kept thinking of gang members here in the U.S. and around the world.  I was watching an episode of Gangland and a video of a gang member stuck with me.  He said that he has nothing else and even though he is offered an education, he has too many obstacles in front of him.  “Maybe I’m not strong enough to overcome these obstacles.”  This stuck with me the most and I thought of it continuously throughout the book.  These young recruits for terrorist groups have nothing else.  The things they could attain are sometimes too difficult for some and Mortenson’s schools demolish some of the obstacles in getting an education.  I agree with the way Mortenson has handled the schools so far and education is a key to  bringing understanding in the Middle East.

Maslow’s heirarchy of needs is another thing I used in coming to my conclusion.  The bottom level of this are physiological needs.  The next is safety.  These children need to have those basic needs fulfilled first before education can be their main focus.  They also need to feel safe.  If they think they will be killed while in the school, they will be against getting an education.  There are certain needs that need to be fulfilled while the children get the education to effectively bring understanding.

Prejudice towards Muslims is evident in society, even today.  People here in the U.S. need to reject the stereotypes of Muslims and understand the religion.  Greg Mortenson has done a good job bringing tolerance to the Middle East.  However, he should fulfill those basic needs before and during the education of the youth.  Hopefully, Mortenson can bring the understanding to the U.S. with his presentations and people will open their ears to the message.