Tuesday, May 6, 2008

UK Schools Drop Teaching the Holocaust: A False Story Continues to Make the Rounds

During the past week I have received numerous emails regarding the false story that the UK has dropped all mention of the Holocaust from its curriculum.

The latest iteration of the story is now linked to the fact that General Eisenhower worried, as he toured the concentration camps in April 1945, that someday there might be those who would deny that this happened.

The email then goes on to note that the UK has dropped teaching of the Holocaust. Earlier versions had accused the University of Kentucky of dropping it.

Why people would believe such stories confounds me.

A recent interview on Muslim-Jewish relations in the UK with Michael Whine, government and international affairs director at the Community Security Trust, the defense agency of the UK Jewish community, and defense and group relations director of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the representative body of the community, summarizes the true state of affairs regarding Holocaust education.

Whine notes:

"The MCB* has opposed Holocaust education. Last year they finally agreed to officially participate in Holocaust Memorial Day. Under Muslim influence, the Bolton local council did not hold a Holocaust Memorial Day last year and replaced it with a Genocide Memorial Day. This year they are marking both.

"Yet a significant number of Muslim leaders have attended Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies, including some members of the MCB Executive. We expect, however, further Muslim attempts to weaken Holocaust remembrance and to replace it with genocide remembrance.

"Almost every municipality has held some remembrance activity on Holocaust Memorial Day. Those with a significant Jewish electorate have usually done more than others. The government provides money for educational material and funds trips to Auschwitz for two students from every high school each year. These are preceded by educational sessions. Britain probably leads the world in Holocaust education.

"A few years ago the Department of Education undertook a study on the teaching of sensitive subjects that included the Crusades, the First and Second World Wars, and the Holocaust. It found that the Holocaust is generally well taught in British schools. One school had considered abandoning its courses for fear of offending Muslim parents in the school. It was misreported by some newspapers and that led to a viral email, which is still going around, claiming that Britain has abandoned Holocaust education in schools."

The interview was conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

* Whine notes that the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was founded by the government as an umbrella organization in 1977. This body has been influenced since by its radical leadership and nowadays represents no more than five hundred mosques and separate organizations. To put this in perspective, there are probably around fifteen hundred official and unofficial mosques in Britain these days, although official estimates are around nine hundred


steve said...

The knuckle-dragger couldn't even get Carter's title right.

Anonymous said...

^ ^ lovely...

Ian Thal said...

I certainly was alarmed when the report first became public last year, but I was also alarmed enough to follow the story, and thus saw how British society reacted to the report. So it irritates me to no end that even now, people who clearly haven't followed the story at all keep circulating email petitions.