The study of religious diversity as part of public education has become an important issue in recent times across Europe and in the wider international arena. In a sense the events of the events of September 11, 2001 in the USA, their causes, ongoing global consequences and associated incidents are a symbol of this shift in attention. However, arguments for policy changes encouraging the study of religious diversity in public education were being advanced well before 9/11. In one inter-governmental body, the Council of Europe, the shift from argument to policy development was held back by a reluctance to address a complex and controversial area reflected in different histories of religion and state within member countries and by a reluctance to acknowledge issues concerning religion as a mode of discourse within the public sphere. As noted in a Council of Europe document, the attacks on the World Trade Centre and other targets in September 2001 acted as a ‘wake up call’, bringing the issues directly to the attention of influential international bodies and precipitating action at the level of public policy (Council of Europe, 2002)
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