Sadly true

Two-thirds of US adults admit to being in the dark about political issues outside the United States, and only a third are well-versed in US politics, the results of a poll published Tuesday showed.

So says this article. I find this is true not only in politics, I find a shameful lack of knowledge in US and and general world history that prevents folks from making the connections with current events.
One brief example, Since 1980, the Middle East and Islam have been two subjects I have concentrated my reading on. The Iran Hostage Crisis was my eye-opener, moreso than the 1972 Munich Olympics, as bad as that event was (and I saw it live on ABC News). I constantly have to correct folks when they make sweeping statements about the region without having read a single book on the history of the last 100 or last 1,000 years. Here are some issues folks don’t know a thing about:

  • The Balfour Declaration and how it influenced British rule of Palestine through the partition.
  • How the Arab League vote following the UN partition of Palestine in 1948 doomed the Palestinian people and prevented them from having a homeland in 1948!
  • How the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini — who also happened to be the uncle of Mohammed Abdel-Raouf Arafat As Qudwa al-Hussaeini, better known as Yasser Arafat — not only advanced the Nazi anti-semitic agenda in Egypt and Palestine, not only did broadcasts to the Middle East from Germany during the war actively urging the locals to fight the British alongside the Germans, but also actively recruited Muslim SS Divisions that fought alongside Waffen SS soldiers.
  • The historical record of Muslim conquest in Eastern and Western Europe from the ninth century through the battle of Vienna in 1683 and then through to the beginning of World War I.

And on and on. All of these topics are critical to undertsanding why the Middle East is what it is. If people are to make informed decisions, they have to know history. If they don’t know history, current events may overtake them before they have time to ponder on what happened.

8 thoughts on “Sadly true”

  1. George, couple that with a survey done recently which found that 1 in 4 Americans didn’t read a single book last year and what do you get?

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