Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

'Bombers' school pack withdrawn

Tavistock Square bus bombing
The educational pack aimed to tackle the issues of extremism and violence

The government has apologised for causing offence as it withdrew a school pack asking pupils to think about the 7 July attacks from the bombers' view.

The new teaching pack, launched by Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire, had been recommended by ministers as a way of addressing controversial issues.

One module suggests students could prepare a presentation on the 7/7 bombings from the bombers' perspective.

The government has admitted the pack was "misguided and inappropriate".

The resource, called "Things Do Change", looks at life in multicultural Britain and the issues of extremism and terrorism.

'Good citizen'

The first module examines all faiths and the "golden rule" of treating others equally.

A later module focuses specifically on the 7 July bombings and the impact on different communities in Britain.

It also suggests pupils could look at the attacks, which were carried out by four men with West Yorkshire links, from the perspective of Muslims in Britain, non-Muslim Asians in Britain and other Britons in general.

Author Sail Khan Suleman had earlier said it asks: "Is religion the problem or the solution?"

He added: "What the pack will do is create an environment whereby discussions surrounding forms of extremism can take place; people will understand what it is to become a good citizen."

But a spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families, said: "While the resource in no way looks to justify or excuse the terrible events of 7/7, and is designed to educate against violent extremism, we appreciate that it may not be appropriate for use in schools.

"It's important young people discuss these difficult and controversial issues in a controlled environment but, in this case, ministers apologise for any offence caused."

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