Explains why the Taliban has so much success in Afghanistan; 28% literacy rates, Women are not allowed to go to school (even if they can read), little household income and underdeveloped/crumbling infrastructure. Perfect environment for Tribal leaders to enforce and maintain radical Muslim beliefs and laws.
Exactly, and it's also in evidence with church missions and associated "good works" who focus on third-world countries where it's easier to displace the existing belief structure with a new one.
Case in point. Last week I was talking to a very nice, very kind, genuinely driven, lady who frequently took part in mission work to build schools in remote parts of Africa. I was wearing a hat, thus hiding my horns, so she probably assumed I was a Christian - so I asked her how they approached the missionary aspect of spreading the gospel. Her answer was really quite interesting.
Essentially, she said that they don't try to force anyone to change their beliefs. They rely on the locals curiosity about the beliefs of these foreigners who have come to help them. She said that they explain what they believe, tell them about what the bible says, and how they are driven by their faith to help. Then, they ask if they want to know more.
At that point they contrast their existing beliefs, which haven't provided water or schools, with their example and leave it to the individual as to which belief system is more effective. They are careful not to call the school a "church school" but, of course, they teach those that want to know about Christianity.
But what don't they do? They don't contrast their biblical accounts, e.g. creation, with the scientific. They don't point out that their hidden agenda of conversion, nor do they point out any alternatives. It's a false dichotomy between the beliefs that failed and these new beliefs that "work".
This situation leaves me conflicted. It's admirable that they help but unlike, for example, Doctors Without Border the reality is that they are approaching vulnerable and unsophisticated people and leaving them with the impression that this "new" belief system is what provided the help, thus creating the unstated expectation of reciprocation via conversion.