[T]he PBS LearningMedia website has a lesson plan for grades nine through 12 titled “Dying to be a Martyr.” The lesson “investigates conflict in the Middle East using interviews with young would-be suicide bombers.” Video interviews shown in the class were done in 2004.
First, there’s 18-year-old Mohanned Abu Tayyoun, a Palestinian “who entered Israel carrying a bag of explosives with the intention of carrying out a suicide bombing.” But he wavered and “returned home without carrying out the mission.”
Tayyoun is interviewed from a jail cell in Israel about why he wanted to be a suicide bomber. He said: “Martyrdom leads us to God. I don’t want this life. When you become a martyr, your prize for carrying out the operation is going to heaven…. We Palestinians prefer to die, just kill ourselves, rather than live this worthless life.”…
Teachers are told: “Check for understanding by asking students to respond to the focus question. (Mohanned feels he would rather die and by a martyr than live his life, sees his life as hollow — in contrast he sees Israelis as happy, going out, having fun, traveling.) Ask your students why Mohanned may feel that way.”