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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05MAPUTO1236 2005-09-23 09:15:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Maputo
Cable title:  

MOZAMBIQUE: COMBATING EXTREMISM

Tags:   EAID KDEM KPAO PHUM PREL KMPI 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MAPUTO 001236 

SIPDIS
STATE FOR R, P, AF/S - HTREGER AND AF/PD - LMING
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/22/2015
TAGS: EAID KDEM KPAO PHUM PREL KMPI
SUBJECT: MOZAMBIQUE: COMBATING EXTREMISM

REF: A. SECSTATE 159129

B. MAPUTO 836

C. MAPUTO 1045

D. MAPUTO 1112

E. MAPUTO 1160
Classified By: AMB LA LIME. REASONS: 1.4(B) AND (D)



1. (C) SUMMARY. Mozambique presents unique opportunities in
the Global War on Terrorism, as its significant
Muslim-minority community remains moderate and open to
cooperation, discussion and exchange with the U.S. and
Mission elements. In the past year, Post has successfully
expanded its outreach efforts, focusing on (a) initiating a
dialogue and establishing relationships within the Islamic
community and (b) sharing and explaining American values and
messages. END SUMMARY.

RELIGIOUS OUTREACH WORKING GROUP


2. (U) In October 2004, the Ambassador established an
interagency Religious Outreach Working Group chaired by the
Public Diplomacy Officer and including elements from across
the Mission, most notably a cadre of Muslim locally employed
staff (LES). The group was charged with organizing the
first-ever Iftar at the Ambassador's residence. Teams from
the group, including at least on American and one LES, met
personally with each of the invitees prior to the event so
that the effort could be put into an appropriate contextual
framework and personal relationships could be established.
The group also coordinated the delivery of gift baskets to
ten mosques in poorer neighborhoods as a "zakat" offering
from the Embassy. As the results described below indicate,
Post's Ramadan initiatives have had tremendous success at
establishing relationships between the Islamic and American
communities in Mozambique. The country's leading Imam, Sheik
Aminudin Mohamed, gave impromptu remarks at the Iftar
thanking the Ambassador for the initiative and her steps to
build a bridge between the two communities.

MISSION SPEAKERS INITIATIVE


3. (U) The Ambassador's Mission Speakers Initiative (MSI)
sends teams of Mission personnel to speak at area secondary
schools. During the past year, it has directly reached over
1,000 high school students at 12 high schools. Several
months after the Iftar, as part of the MSI, the Ambassador
and PAO, accompanied by an American Muslim, visited the Hamza
Institute, an Islamic school run by Sheik Mohamed. Prior to
the Iftar, Post had been unable to schedule a speaking
program at an Islamic school. The Ambassador fielded
questions from Islamic students on the entire gamut of
American foreign policy. Both the Ambassador and the PAO
appeared on Islamic radio immediately after the event. The
presence of an American Muslim at the event helped connect
with the students.

INTERNATIONAL VISITOR PROGRAM


4. (U) Three International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
nominees were identified from the Ramadan outreach efforts,
including a prominent Muslim journalist and two leading
Imams. After one of the Imam's return from his program
entitled "Religion and the Community," he agreed to appear on
local Islamic radio with the PAO to answer questions about
America. He then agreed to speak about Islam in America at a
roundtable hosted by the Public Affairs Section. The direct
audience of forty included several influential Muslims as
well as young Muslim scholars, and the presentation was
broadcast live by Islamic radio, reaching perhaps an audience
of 15,000. The Imam's presentation was a hit. He spoke
warmly and openly about his program, underscoring that he
witnessed a highly religious nation, pluralistic and
respectful of faiths, regardless of tradition or practice.
He was impressed by Americans' rights of freedom of speak and
expression, commenting on protests he saw against President
Bush and the Iraq conflict. In addition to the radio
broadcast, the Imam's program received coverage in several
publications. It also prompted a three-page analysis of
Islam and the West in an influential weekly.


5. (U) The IVLP also demonstrated its long-term success when
IVLP alumnus and Muslim journalist Jafar Buana wrote an op-ed
in the Nampula-based weekly Lurio entitled "Is America to
Blame for Everything?" The fact that much of Mozambique's
Muslim population lives in the Nampula area magnifies the
importance of this article. In it, Buana chided both his
readers and civic leaders around the world for blaming
America for all the world's ills, arguing that "America
extends its hand to us in almost every way."

ENGLISH ACCESS MICROSCHOLARSHIPS


6. (U) Post has launched its English Access Microscholarship
Program in Nampula, which is situated in the predominately
Muslim northern reaches of Mozambique and is the country's
third largest city and a center for commerce and industry.
The program is key to expanding the Muslim outreach efforts
across Mozambique, as great care was taken to include an
American element in the program. The classes will be taught
by an American and use American educational materials and
include visits to the American Corner at Mussa Bin Bique
University. Post anticipates that this program will grow
quickly from its current allotment of sixteen students and be
a primary vehicle for exchange in the underserved North of
Mozambique.

EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMS


7. (U) Although USAID is not directly targeting the Muslim
community, Mozambican Muslims are likely beneficiaries of all
USAID programs. These include projects to increase rural
incomes and labor-intensive exports, to improve the quality
and accessibility of basic health care, and to strengthen
governance at the municipal level. USAID is also filling a
key role along with other USG agencies in the President's
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to reduce the prevalence of
HIV/AIDS and care for persons infected and affected by
HIV/AIDS. USAID's activities are implemented primarily in
central and northern Mozambique, examples of which include:
the delivery of business development services (e.g., training
in marketing and management) to farmers' associations and
rural enterprises; expansion of the tertiary road network
throughout the Nacala corridor; the promotion of tourism in
three provinces - Cabo Delgado, Niassa, and Nampula; work at
the community and district level to increase access to and
demand for proven and effective primary health care services,
including child survival and reproductive health; and
building good democratic governance at the municipal level by
strengthening the capacity of local administration, improving
transparency in municipal operations, and creating
opportunities for citizens to participate in local
decision-making and community management. At the national
level, USAID is implementing anti-corruption activities with
the GRM's Anti-Corruption Unit and a prominent Mozambican
NGO, as well as policy reform efforts in all sectors
including reforms to improve the business environment. USAID
is also offering to all qualified Mozambicans a limited
number of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study
in Mozambique, the U.S. and third countries.

GRM ACTIVITIES AND ACTION


7. (U) Due to limited institutional capacity and its lack of
perceiving a threat from Islamic extremists, the GRM has done
little to combat extremism but remains open to cooperation in
connection with USG programs.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUTURE ENGAGEMENT


8. (U) Post's Religious Outreach Working Group is already
planning to expand this year's Ramadan efforts. Other
officers at Post have volunteered to host Iftars, permitting
this direct outreach event to reach dozens of other prominent
figures in the Mozambican Muslim community. Post is also
exploring the option of hosting an Iftar in the Northern
parts of the country, where outreach is difficult due to
resource constraints. The Public Affairs Section will also
host Ramadan outreach events, including an additional
roundtable by an IVLP alumnus and inviting a local Imam to
give a lecture on "Islam in Mozambique" to an American
audience. By reversing roles and inviting the Islamic
community to teach the American community, Post hopes to
strengthen already expanding ties between the two.



9. (C) COMMENT. Post has achieved great successes through
its Religious Outreach Working Group but has also encountered
some difficulties. These include: lack of sufficient human
and financial resources to do meaningful outreach upcountry;
lack of resources and mechanisms to take full advantage of
opportunities that arise to support targeted groups with
grants or other outreach; and lack of Portuguese language
IVLP projects. Post anticipates that with increased
programmatic and human resources, it would be able to
substantially increase its outreach activities. END COMMENT.
La Lime