From: Andrew Johnson
Date: 2006-06-16 19:25:38
Funny how this has come out on the same day as the Al Jazeera article. Which source are most people likely to trust for truthful reports? www.timesonline.co.u…,,2-2228908,00.html The Times June 16, 2006 Citizenship class is taught to think like a terror cellBy David Sanderson and Helen Nugent PUPILS taking citizenship classes are being invited to get into the mind of the terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks. Teaching packs entitled 9/11: The Main Chance, which invite pupils to imagine organising a terrorist attack, have been distributed to schools running the Governments much-vaunted citizenship classes. One worksheet asks the pupils to imagine what terrorist targets there are in their neighbourhoods. They have then to suggest what weapons and methods should be used to ensure the most effective results. At the end of the worksheets, which are funded through the Governments neighbourhood renewal programmes, a number of links to other terrorism-related articles are listed including one on food terrorism and how fast-food chains, for example, could be attacked. Another article is headlined How safe is our water? A series of links to websites on the September 11 atrocity, in which 2,986 people were killed when al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked and crashed four planes, are also listed on the worksheets. Many of the sites propound outlandish conspiracy theories on the atrocity including the suggestion that the American military shot down flight United 93. Another link takes pupils to a website which suggests that Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, directed the attacks, while another news website the worksheets encourage pupils to visit includes references to images of Satan appearing in smoke over the Twin Towers on September 11. Tim Window, one of the creators of 9/11: The Main Chance, said that the packs had been used with great success at a pupil referral unit he works at in East London before they were introduced across the borough of Waltham Forest. Mr Window denied that the packs were culturally insensitive and said that they were about teaching pupils to bring impartial and unbiased information to a subject. After the publication by the Government of the narrative into the July 7 bombings, Bill Rammell, the Higher Education Minister, said that citizenship classes should be used to give pupils a stronger sense of British identity. He said that teaching all children about British culture and traditions would allow Muslim children to integrate better into society. Citizenship is currently the fastest-growing GCSE subject with 38,000 entries last summer. It has been compulsory in secondary school since 2002. Sarah Teather, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary, said: It is perfectly acceptable for a school to examine and debate the motives of extremist groups. However, while understanding motives can be helpful for preventing extremism, no school should ever condone violence. If any ambiguity whatsoever is left in these teaching packs as to whether 9/11 was right or wrong, that is totally unacceptable and no questions should be asked. Nick Gibb, the Shadow Schools Minister, said: This isnt the kind of eduction that most parents want for their child. Parents want their children to be taught the facts.