Class studies origins, fruits of terrorism

February 04, 2002|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,SUN STAFF

When Deborah Louis saw the range of emotions her Carroll Community College students expressed after Sept. 11, she wondered what she could do to help people come to grips with the terrorist attacks.

The idea for a course about terrorism evolved as she discussed the attacks on Washington, New York and Pennsylvania during her fall classes. Her students were angry, afraid and confused and had many questions about what had happened, and how and why.

The result is "Terrorism," a class Louis will teach this semester, which begins today. Louis hopes to help Carroll residents understand what happened Sept. 11 and the effect of terrorism throughout the world.

Louis' interdisciplinary approach will explore social, political, psychological and historical issues surrounding terrorism and terrorists, and the American responses to them.

"It disturbs me to hear a lot of our leaders tell people they should just be quiet and let them take care of it when, to me, this is the time to be more actively involved, and to express what we think," Louis said. "I'll be orienting the course toward what should we be doing, what does being a good American mean right now?"

She will address the psychology of terrorism and terrorists, and discuss social and other conditions that produce people who become terrorists, who believe so deeply that they are willing to die for their cause.

People who follow those such as Osama bin Laden, Louis feels, are "desperate, deprived, with no hope." They are easy prey for leaders "who have the charisma and rhetoric to get to people."

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