In a few days I’ll be traveling to Tajikistan, a land of rich culture and history. But also a 20th century story of suffering under Soviet rule. And even more recently a struggle against Islamist extremism with a location right next to Afghanistan.
But how many would know that Tajikistan in 2012 witnessed the first “Mother School”? This is an amazing initiative connected to the Vienna-based Women Without Borders (WWB). Profiled in a recent article in the London-based Asian Age newspaper, these schools have now spread to Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, as well as Austria and Belgium.
What do these “Mother Schools” do? According to the article, they “teach Muslim women to spot early signs of radicalization in children or develop coping mechanisms if the intervention comes too late. After completing the 10 week course, the graduates go on to train other women”.
These are mothers of courage and they are all over the Muslim world. It is so easy in our cultural blindness and pride to miss these apostles of courage. But they need our prayers and support. Unfortunately Muslim mothers will not get the sound bites on interview shows. Mothers in every culture are often some of the most silent. Yet they are conversely the most powerful in a family structure, including in the Muslim world. This is not widely known outside this world, but I have seen it and many would agree.
Remember these women of courage.They may hold the keys to what the future could look like all over the world.
For those interested in reading the full article, see The Asian Age, 8 April, 2016. Article is titled Mothers fight ‘toxic’ merchants of terror.