Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't Know Much About Geography

Trey Smith

There is something vitally wrong with the state of education in this country. It doesn't seem to matter if we're talking about public, private or home schooling either. Too many Americans these days smack of being ignorant...or easily confused. For example, many of the younger generations don't have a good grasp on world geography.
The Czech ambassador to the United States has put on record his alarm that during the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect so many Americans on social media appeared to confuse his own country - in central Europe - with Chechnya - a republic in south-west Russia.

As the identities of Chechen brothers Dzokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev - the suspects in Monday's attack which killed three and injured over 150 - filtered across the internet, many people tweeted that the pair were from the Czech Republic.

In a statement posted on his embassy's website, Petr Gandalovic said he was "deeply shocked by the tragedy," adding: "As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic and Chechnya are two very different entities."
Hmm. To be fair, they both start with the letter C. Another similarity is that both countries are over there somewhere, not here. So, there's that. On the other hand, no true student of geography would say they are adjacent nations -- they are separated by approximately 1,700 miles. That roughly would be like confusing Connecticut for Colorado!

Here is another major difference. As has been widely reported, most Chechens are Suni Muslims. Czechs, on the other hand, are not all that religious. Catholics are the most prominent group with about 11 percents of Czechs identifying with that faith. Of course, from the standpoint of fundamentalist American Christians, Muslims and Catholics are both heretics, so I guess for those folks this doesn't represent a significant difference or set off any red flags!

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