Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Iranian Physicist Killed

Newspapers around the world are reporting on the assassination of Iranian physicist Masoud Ali Mohammadi. The Washington Post reports, "Masoud Ali Mohammadi was killed as he left his house in the north Tehran neighborhood of Qetariyeh. State television showed images of crying people and houses with broken windows as a burned-out motorcycle was taken away by security forces." The Iranian government has blamed the United States of America and Israel for this assassination.

(Note: I had originally planned on using a link to this BBC page to report this story. However, a video on the page was more graphic than most western videos, so I am only including it here.)

Questions to Consider:
1. Can we learn anything about Iran from the fact that they have blamed the U.S. and Israel very early into this investigation? Why or why not?

2. Do you think it is significant that Mr. Mohammadi's name was on a list of supporters of the political opposition in the last election? Why or why not?

3. Imagine that you were an advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. did not orchestrate this assassination. How would you recommend that the President respond to Iranian allegations? Why? What if the U.S. did orchestrate the assassination, how would you recommend that the President respond to the allegations? Why?

4. What three questions, other than "Who was behind the assassination" would you ask about this assassination in order to learn more about it? Why would you ask these three questions?

Questions for Younger Children
1. What is the appropriate way to behave towards somebody who you really dislike? Why?

2. Is it OK to really dislike somebody? Why or why not?

3. Do you think that it is ever OK to hit somebody? Why or why not?

4. What one nice thing would you like to say to somebody else today?

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