International terrorists are motivated to acts of unspeakable violence because they suffer from low self esteem, students at an internet-based public high school are being taught.
Violent influences from Christianity also contribute, says a world history lesson plan offered by the Florida Virtual School.
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The plan asks students to think of "what comes to mind" when talking about the concept of fundamentalism in a religious context. Then, they are told to think about how "this type of fundamentalism" has played out in Islam, according to Fox News
"Common traits that psychologists have found in terrorists are that they are often risk-takers and many suffer from low self-esteem," the lesson plan states. "Sometimes joining a terrorist group provides these individuals with a sense of belonging."
It then implies that Christianity may have influenced the violent nature of Islamic fundamentalism saying that the transition from Christianity to Islam "softly could imply Christianity may be affecting (therefore causing) Muslim extremism."
"For example, some passages in the Bible could be used to justify the slaughter of men, women and children in ways we have difficulty understanding today," the plan states. "Would anyone condone this now? How would you react to someone who insisted that holding these beliefs was fundamental to Christianity?"
Representatives from the internet-based high school told Fox that they are not trying to say there is link between Christianity and Muslim extremism, but that they are trying to help students better understand the impact of religious fundamentalism on global terrorism.
"Yes, the Bible is referenced, but only as an example of how some passages may no longer be compatible with the modern world, prompting students to think about whether the ideas would be condoned today," said Tania Clow, a spokesperson for the school. "The lesson does not suggest that there is a link between Islam and Christianity as fundamentalist groups."
Clow explained that teachers are supposed to help the students have a thoughtful debate on the issue although they are not permitted to change the text as it is written.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League took issue with connecting Fundamentalist Christians to Fundamentalist Muslims.
"Fundamentalist Christians pray for people, they pray for their own members who convert to another religion," Donohue told Fox News. "Fundamentalist Muslims will kill you. So, right off the bat, the equation is pernicious."
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