The Intercultural and Interreligious Aspects of 9/11: The Road to 9/11 and the Day of the Attacks
October 7, 2011
This lesson plan explores the events and personalities that led up and contributed to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as details and consequences of that day as viewed from an interreligious and intercultural perspective. Like each lesson plan in this three-part series, it incorporates elements from the Peabody Award-winning documentary film Rebirth, which chronicles the emotional rebuilding of 9/11 survivors over the years after the attacks. The core text of the lesson addresses four questions – Who was behind the attacks? What motivated the terrorists to attack the U.S.? How did the September 11 attacks occur? What damages did the attacks cause? – with deepened perspective from additional sections on understanding the targets of the attacks and on the effects of the attacks on intercultural relations. This core text is accompanied by a glossary, timeline, online resources, discussion questions, and a teacher’s guide for the benefit of instructors.
2,977 people died in the attacks, not including the 19 hijackers, making them the deadliest terrorist attacks the world has ever seen. This was a pivotal event in the history of the United States and the world as a whole. The attacks directly or indirectly affected every segment of American society as well as people of every region, every culture, and every religion of the world. And, ironically, though the terrorists espoused the goal of destroying all cultures but their own, the attacks united the diverse peoples of the U.S. and the world in opposition to the carnage wrought by fundamentalist notions of religious and cultural superiority.