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Teaching a Tragedy

As the nation began to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a group of scholars and educators gathered at Harvard to explore how to teach the legacy and the history of the tragedy to students who have come of age in its wake.

During a discussion held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) on Wednesday, the panelists said that a broad cultural and religious literacy, a historical context, and a focus on empathy are all important elements when bringing the sensitive topic to the classroom.

Harvard’s Ali Asani warned that in the years following 9/11, a small but dangerous array of anti-Muslim activists, right-wing scholars, and politicians have painted Islam and Muslims as anti-American and a “threat to American democracy and national security.”

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