Crass indoctrination exercise criticized
Friday, Feb 20th, 2009
A government teaching pack, provided to secondary schools throughout the UK, has been strongly criticized for asking children as young as ten years old to imagine themselves as suicide bombers.
The teaching pack contains an exercise in which children are required to “prepare a brief presentation on the 7/7 bombings from the perspective of the bombers”.
Pupils are asked to put themselves in the shoes of terrorists and provide possible justifications for carrying out attacks such as the ones on the London transport network in July 2005.
The pack has also been adopted by several police forces across the country.
Politicians and 7/7 survivors have criticized the move:
Jacqui Putnam, who survived the Edgware Road bomb on July 7, said: “I can’t see why anyone would think it is a valuable exercise to encourage children to put themselves in the position of men who treated people in such an inhuman way.
“To encourage children to see the world in that way is a dangerous thing. Surely there must be a better way of achieving their objective?”
Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, said the pack risked “encouraging the sort of belief we’re trying to work against”.
Patrick Mercer, the chairman of the Commons terrorism sub-committee, said: “How useful is it to pretend to be a suicide bomber if it defeats the object of the lesson? Imagine the uproar if we suggested that children play-acted the role of Hitler.”
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Such indoctrination can be seen as an attempt to bolster the government’s support for the ailing ‘war on terror’ which has been thoroughly exposed as a grossly inflated contrivance used as justification to impose more draconian laws and strip away civil liberties.
Asking young children to imagine themselves as terrorists blurs the lines between horrific acts of extreme violence and everyday life. It forces the issue into people’s faces, even though the threat is almost wholly manufactured and has been hyped to a frenzy in order to secure more power and control and counter resistance towards whatever the government chooses to do.