Terror lessons

British students are learning to “think like a terrorist” in citizenship class, reports The Times.

Teaching packs entitled 9/11: The Main Chance, which invite pupils to imagine organising a terrorist attack, have been distributed to schools running the Government’s 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.

The worksheet includes many links to web sites on 9/11.

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.

Citizenship classes are supposed to instill a stronger sense of British identity. The kits are being used in a predominantly Muslim area, Hot Air observes.

Times columnist Mick Hume writes the terror lessons reflect a values vacuum.

The orthodoxy today is that all education must be made “relevant” to pupils’ own experience. Thus the section on “Tolerance and 9/11” ends with a quiz about how you would react if your mum burnt your toast, or your brother lent your favourite DVD to his mate. The lesson on conflict resolution suggests that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is like a family dispute about sharing.

No doubt this teaching pack was put together by well-intentioned educationists, despite the inaccuracies and omissions. Of course it is not “pro al-Qaeda”. But nor does it appear to be pro anything else. Instead it reflects the wider confusion and incoherence about these issues. We are unsure who we are or what we stand for as a society, and it is nonsense to expect citizenship classes to fill that vacuum. Government commitment to teaching “values” is worthless when we don’t know what those might be.

Via Little Green Footballs.

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