Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Are UK teachers really dropping the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims?

Above: Circa 1935: two Jewish pupils are humiliated before their classmates. The inscription on the blackboard reads "The Jew is our greatest enemy, beware of the Jew". From The Pictorial History of the Holocaust, Macmillan Publishing Company, NY, 1990.

It's been reported that UK Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils. A Government backed study revealed found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. It also found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.

The researchers gave the example of a secondary school in an unnamed northern city, which dropped the Holocaust as a subject for GCSE coursework. The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'. It added: "In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-Semitic sentiment among some pupils.

This story has been widely spread via an email chain letter, which is how I learned of it. A report by snopes.com tells another side of the story:
This piece began circulating in e-mail in mid-April 2007. Its central claim, that schools in Britain no longer teach about The Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim students, isn't on the money: Even news articles that bear titles such as "Britain Schools Ignore the Holocaust" and "Schools Drop Holocaust Lessons" point out that only one history department in a northern UK school did that. In all the rest of the country's schools, information about the Holocaust was still being imparted to students.

A spokesman for the Department of Education and Skills (DES) maintained that "key British historical events must be taught" and that while "the national curriculum is a broad framework and there is scope for schools to make their own decisions, teaching elements including the Holocaust and key British events will be compulsory."

It's delusional to deny the Holocaust happened. Of course it did. I think what Holocaust deniers are trying to get at is their suspicion the Holocaust was used to gain sympathy in order to get that much fought-over sea side real estate we call Israel. Genocide happened then, and it's still happening now. I won't bother you repeating that tired old "those that don't learn history are doomed to repeat it" quote again. Oops. Just did. Regardless, other than isolated cases it seems that Holocaust history is being taught in the UK. Now what about evolution being taught in Kansas?

SOURCES:Daily Mail, Snopes.com

NOTE: I've been told that the Daily Mail is total crap and there are more nuances to the story than they report. Like anything you read here or elsewhere, read with the understanding it's being reflected through a human prism, and is thus subjective.

Below: A mass grave in the Belsen camp. From The Belsen Trial - Edited by R. Phillips, William Hodge and Company, 1949. I don't think they had Photoshop in '49, so this is really showing dead people.

Photos courtesy http://shamash.org/holocaust/photos/

No comments: