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UK: Write a letter to terrorists! Children told in new book

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said the letter task would confuse and potentially upset pupils.

PTI, London [Published on:28 May 2017, 6:19 PM IST]
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A new book published in the UK recommends school children as young as seven to "write a letter to a terrorist" to help understand their motives.

The book, Talking About Terrorism, published weeks before the Manchester Arena attack, describes the indiscriminate mass murder of innocent members of the public as a "type of war."

It tells primary age children that terrorists kill people because they believe they are being treated "unfairly and not shown respect", Daily Express reported.

In an activity recommended for pupils aged seven to 11, teachers are urged to "invite children to write a letter to a terrorist. If they could ask a terrorist six questions, what would they be?"

The book, published by Brilliant Publications and containing a foreword by Peter Wanless, the chief executive of The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, a charity campaigning and working in child protection in the UK, has been slammed by critics who say it is potentially dangerous.

Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said the letter task would confuse and potentially upset pupils.

"This a crackpot idea based on the misguided notion that primary school children must engage with, and show 'respect' for, religious fanatics who are seeking to kill them. The primary school classroom is not the place to humanise terrorism by 'pretend dialogue'."

In trying to help children "understand" terrorists' motives, the book invites sympathy for the killers, critics claim, the report said.

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