Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Random_Task, Aug 28, 2007.
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U.S. military regrets "blasphemous" balls for Afghans
I can sort of see it, but that's not a problem that would have been obvious. Hopefully this will pass as quickly as possible.
I disagree Chief. When you are trying to win hearts and minds, isn't natural to hire a couple of cultural experts to advice you as you go along? Surely, there is somebody in the payroll who is actually Muslim and knows a thing or two about the people whose hearts and minds we are trying to win?
or possibly a local agent provocateur planted this idea. A Saudi flag seems a strange thing to put on a football, unless they were sourced in Saudi - maybe they don't have a problem kicking Allah around a bit.
They look like your standard,'free with a litre of four star' variety.
I've seen similar balls before. The idea is to put forward the idea of football/soccer as international sport, and of togetherness. I think that WAS the idea, culturally (or, they may have been the cheapest soccer balls). A muslim cultural expert may or may not have caught the implications, as there are so many different ways to interpret Islamic ideas.
I wonder if the "Old Glory" was on there? Septics can get wound up by a percieved lack of respect for their flag.
The yanks do have a problem with taking into account culural issues as they only see things from their point of view. Got dragged into some planning meetings for Ramadan at MNC-I and was surprised to find when I arrived not a single Iraqi or even a muslim present, the religious input was from a US chaplain. This was a working group to make policy recommendations to the 4*. There were plenty of muslims in theatre from coalition forces if there was a sensitivity to having Iraqis there but when it was suggested the response was blank looks.
Slightly off topic but it does indicate how something like this might have happened, a couple of middle ranking officers from the mid west thinking it would be a good idea and thinking they were being very worldly by using soccer balls.
Just another elemental, well intentioned, fcuk up, Afghanistan has quite a stock pile these days.
Check this site out.
"Operation Soccer Chopper"
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