It’s no surprise that terrorists stormed the American University of Afghanistan and killed several faculty and students last month, or that terrorists kidnapped two professors earlier this summer in a lower-profile incident.
That’s because the university is “a direct threat to the terrorists and their poisonous ideology,” according to Alexander Benard, co-founder of the Afghanistan Legal Education Project, which established a partnership between the school and Stanford Law School.
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Benard says the school exposes Muslim students and faculty to “American professors and visiting students … exchanging ideas and forging longstanding bonds”:
Naqib Khpulwak, an Afghan law professor at AUAF who spent time at Stanford, e-mailed his friends at Stanford after an attack last year, reassuring them that everything was all right: “We are all safe so far. Thanks for asking. The terrorists want to terrorize us, we refuse to give in. . . . It did not stop us from our work not for one minute. This tells me the terrorists will not succeed. Everyday passing, people hate them more and keep on doing their work. I work 12 hours per day six days a week this summer. This is my response to them.” …
If the U.S. no longer wishes to undertake complex nation-building efforts abroad, it is important that America equips the citizens of those countries to do so. That means providing them with a modern education, helping them develop local and international networks of like-minded individuals, and providing them with exposure to U.S. values, norms and culture.