Holocaust in the UK curriculum

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, but… somebody on the internet is wrong!!!

There is a particularly nasty rumour going about, that the UK has removed the teaching of Holocaust from its curriculum, ‘in order not to offend Muslim students, because they don’t believe in it’.  Please, pass it on:  THAT RUMOUR IS NOT TRUE!!!

Not having had enough time to think through the implications of the rumour itself (I am a very slow thinker), I will not comment on it for now.  Instead, I would like to share with you the questions that occurred to me as I ‘Googled about’ for articles on it.

  1. How can people pass on any ‘tidbit’, but especially one that has such an emotionally charged content, without checking it out???  Form 5 or 6 sources, at least???  Are we (collectively) really that stupid?
  2. How did this rumour even get started?  Now, I do have some suspicions on this one… I lay the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of some journalists (and their appallingly low standards in quality of writing and actually transmitting information) AND those readers who skim, rather read, news articles.  Poor writing and ‘skimming’ instead of reading are a bad combination indeed.
  3. Why would so many people be so ready to believe this rumour?  And though there is an ‘edge’ to this rumour, making it most tantalizing to pass on, the level of hysterics in some of these emails spreading the rumour spoke of genuine worry, so I do think the rumour was believed.

While the first two questions deserve a good hard thinking about, it is the third question that we all need to examine…  

One Response to “Holocaust in the UK curriculum”

  1. Tequila Socrates Says:

    Here is an insight into your third question taken from something entirely unrelated.

    I notice that when I hear a name for the first time, it is really hard to remember until a person with that name affects my life in some substantial way.

    Once that first person by a given name has affected my life in some way, it is much easier for me to remember other people by the same name.

    In fact, it goes so far as to affect how I judge the second person I meet by that name. If I meet someone who is generous by the name of Bleebop, and then I meet another person by the name of Bleebop, I kind of expect the second Bleebop to be generous and I feel surprised when the second Bleebop turns out to be greedy.

    Each new person I meet by the same name is like another layer of meaning added onto the word, but that first impression of the name seems to stick with me more than other impressions.

    I think that the way Islam has been introduced to the North American consciousness has a lot to do with why we are ready to believe certain things about Islam and why we are not read to believe other things.

    Unfortunately, the first time most of these hysterical e-mailers met someone (thing) by the name of Islam (in my little theory here at least), that person (or thing) affected their life in a negative way. Thereafter, information is organized around that initial first impression.

    If I here of a Bleebop on the news giving away a thousand dollars, I remember Bleebop gave away a thousand dollars, if I hear of a Bleebop stealing a thousand dollars from a bank, I remember that someone stole a thousand dollars from a bank.

    …. its interesting how I filtered that little story you just passed on in this post, too! I wonder what little theory I would have come up with if you story had been about Iran changing its curriculum to avoid questioning the holocaust so as to avoid offending Christians.

    I am guessing I would have focused on the actions of the Iranian government rather than attitude of the students.


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