2014 Islamic Fundamentalism in Afghanistan Lesson Plan Dates: Accelerated Day One

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2014 Islamic Fundamentalism in Afghanistan Lesson Plan



Day One:

  1. Quiet Question: Type Two Prompt---The teacher is going to read aloud the articles from The New York Times archives on “Secrets of History: The C.I.A. in Iran.” As she does this, you should be using Active Reading Strategies.

  • Then you and your partner will complete the “This Caused….” Graphic Organizer reviewing how the intervening actions of the British and the United States led to the creation of the current Islamic Republic of Iran Theocracy.

  • You will use your notes from the last lesson and the articles.

  • You will go in chronological order.

  • Under This….main causes/actions

  • Under Caused…main effects of the actions.

Secrets of History: The C.I.A. in Iran” Articles

The Roots: Britain Fights Oil Nationalism:

The coup had its roots in a British showdown with Iran, restive under decades of near-colonial British domination. The prize was Iran’s oil fields. Britain occupied Iran in World War Two to protect a supply route to its ally, the Soviet Union, and to prevent the oil from falling into the hands of the Nazis. The British ousted the Shah’s father, whom they regarded as unmanageable for Western goals. Britain retained control over Iran’s oil after the war through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

The Iranian who would challenge the West’s control would be Dr. Mossadegh. He was an eccentric European-educated lawyer whose family descended from Persian kings. Dr. Mossadegh had served as a minister and governor in Iran and opposed Reza Shah’s accession to power in the 1920s. Because of his opposition, he was imprisoned and put under house arrest. When Britain and Russia forced Reza Shah from power in favor of his son, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi in 1941, Dr. Mossadegh because a member of parliament. He was hailed as a hero for his fiery speeches on the evils of British control of Iran’s oil industry.

In 1951, Iran’s Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry, and legislators backing the law elected its leading advocate, Dr. Mossadegh, as prime minister. In this job, Dr. Mossadegh was unable to reach an oil compromise with Britain. And even as the British negotiated with Iran, they won the support of international oil companies by imposing an effective global boycott of Iranian oil. Britain responded with threats and sanctions.

Dr. Mossadegh refused to back down to the British demands. He amassed power and when the Shah refused Dr. Mossadegh’s demand for control of the armed forces in 1952, Dr. Mossadegh resigned and was then reinstated back to power due to riots in support of him. This led to a plot to overthrow him by the British and America. In meetings in November and December 1952, the secret history says, British officials startled their American counterparts with a plan for a joint operation to remove Dr. Mossadegh as prime minister.

The Americans, who “had not intended to discuss this question at all,” agreed to study it, the secret history says. It had attractions. Anti-Communism had risen to a fevered-pitch in Washington, and officials were worried that Iran might fall under the influence of the Soviet Union.

In March 1953, an unexpected development pushed the plot forward: the C.I.A.’s Tehran station reported that an Iranian general had approached the American Embassy supporting the idea of an army-led coup. The newly inaugurated Eisenhower administration was intrigued. The coalition that had supported Dr. Mossadegh, was now splintering and the Iranian Communist Party was becoming a greater threat. Due to this, Allen W. Dulles, the director of the C.I.A., approved $1 million on April 4 to be used “in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadegh.”

According to government records, “the aim was to bring to power a government which would reach an equitable oil settlement, enabling Iran to become economically sound and financially solvent, and which would vigorously prosecute the dangerously strong Communist Party.” Within days, the C.I.A. had identified a high ranking officer named General Fazlollah Zahedi as the man to lead the coup. And the plan called for the Shah to play a leading role.

A Shah-General Zahedi combination, supported by the C.I.A. and with Western financial backing would have a good chance of overthrowing Mossadegh. Officials noted “particularly if this combination should be able to get the largest mobs in the streets and if a sizable portion of the Tehran garrison refused to carry out Mossadegh’s orders.” But according to historical documents, the C.I.A. planners had doubts about whether the Shah could carry out such a bold operation.

The Shah’s family had seized Iran’s throne only 32 years earlier, when his father led a coup of his own. But the young Shah, officials noted was “by nature a creature of indecision, beset by formless doubts and fears,” often at odds with his family including his twin sister, Princess Ashraf, who was more forceful and a schemer. Also, the Shah had what the C.I. A. termed a “pathological fear” of British intrigues, which posed a potential obstacle to the joint operation.

Despite their doubts, the C.I.A. began to disseminate “gray propaganda” passing out anti-Mossadegh political cartoons in the streets and planting unflattering articles in the press. When he was removed from power, Dr. Mossadegh was put on trial and served three years in prison and ended up under house arrest. In March 1967, he died from throat cancer.

When the revolution brought the clerics to power in 1979, anti-Shah nationalists tried to revive Dr. Mossadegh’s memory. A Tehran road was renamed after him. But the Ayatollah Khomeini saw Dr. Mossadegh not as a promoter of Islam but of Persian nationalism and was threatened by his popularity. So the road was renamed again.

But now in the 21st century, there is another strong following of the ideas of Dr. Mossadegh brought on by the restrictions of the Islamic Theocracy and nationalism. Dr. Mossadegh inspires the young, who long for heroes that are not clerics or kings.

  1. Class: Have students share their choices and discuss the lessons to be learned from Iran. Transition to Afghanistan.

  1. Class: The teacher is going to do part of the PowerPoint Lecture on Islamic Fundamentalism in Afghanistan. You are to take notes in the provided graphic organizer.

  1. Homework: Whatever parts of the graphic organizer that were not done in class, it is your homework for the next two nights to go to the PowerPoint on the teacher page and finish the notes.

Days Two and Three

  1. Class: We are going to be watching from You Tube the “National Geographic Inside the Taliban” Documentary. It was published on May 16, 2012. It has a running time of 1:31: 39. As we watch the documentary, you should be adding to the PowerPoint notes in the graphic organizer.

  1. Homework: By the first day of the Modern Iraq Lesson Plan, your notes need to be completed.

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