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al qaeda's new front



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Discussion Questions

Featured Lesson Plan
  • Summit Meeting
  • Student Handout: Test of Tolerance
  • Student Handout: Preserving the Alliance Against Terrorism
  • Student Handout: Madrid Bombings and U.S. Policy
  • Student Handout: Race and Immigration in Europe
  • Student Handout: Recent Laws are Wrong Way to Integrate European Muslims

  • Additional Lesson Ideas
  • Summit Meeting: Second Round
  • Ethnic Discrimination or Protecting National Security
  • Muslim-Christian Ties in Europe: Past, Present and Future

  • Internet Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » About the Film:

    Mosques burn and a filmmaker is murdered in a culture clash between Muslims and Christians in the Netherlands. A series of bombs tear apart four commuter trains in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800. Al Qaeda terrorist cells are uncovered in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain. In "Al Qaeda's New Front," FRONTLINE investigates the new front in the war on terror: Europe. Now home to 18 million Muslims -- which some call "Eurabia" -- the continent is a challenge to intelligence services on both sides of the Atlantic in confronting this gathering storm of deadly plots and spectacular attacks, exacerbated by political divisions over the Iraq War.

    » Watching the Film:

    Ideally, teachers will assign the film for viewing as homework or show the film in class. Suggested discussion questions are provided. The lessons and activities in this guide can be used in the classroom regardless of whether or not the film is viewed.

    » A Note to Teachers:

    For classes in Social Studies, Language Arts, Current Events, and History; Grade level 9th-12th.

    "Al Qaeda's New Front" tells the story of increased terrorist activity in Europe against the backdrop of strained relations with the U.S., increasing Muslim immigration and a Europe struggling to unite. These teaching activities help students examine the political ramifications after the Madrid train bombings and what actions the U.S., European countries and moderate Muslims can take to help rectify the situation.

    » Discussion Questions:

    A list of questions for students to discuss after viewing "Al Qaeda's New Front."

    » Featured Lesson Plan:

    Summit Meeting

    Students will review articles written from different perspectives, answering questions and developing short presentations in a "summit meeting" designed to expose different ideas and develop proposals for the U.S., European governments and Muslims living in Europe to work together. Students will become more familiar with:

    • U.S. interests in Europe's efforts in the war on terror
    • How the increased Muslim presence in Europe has put a strain on Europeans' ethnic tolerance and created further suspicion of Muslim immigrants
    • Actions that can be taken to address the issues of ethnic diversity and national security

    » Additional Lesson Ideas:

    Summit Meeting: Second Round
    In this follow up to the Summit Meeting, students engage in further analysis and propose recommendations for improving the situation.

    Ethnic Discrimination or Protecting National Security
    Students will review and analyze proposed actions to control Muslim immigration to Europe, analyzing whether any violate citizens' civil rights.

    Muslim-Christian Ties in Europe: Past, Present and Future
    Students will learn about the historical relationship between Islam and Christianity in Europe and also the present state and future prospects of Islamic-Christian relations in Europe (This activity is recommended for AP classes but could be modified for other classes as well).

    » Purchasing the Film:

    "Al Qaeda's New Front" can be purchased from Shop PBS for Teachers. Also, teachers and students can watch the film streamed in its entirety on FRONTLINE's Web site.

    » Credits

    This teacher's guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Greg Timmons, curriculum writer and educational consultant. Advisers were Patricia Grimmer of Carbondale High School, Carbondale, Illinois and Michelle McVicker of the Rutherford County Schools, Tennessee.

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