Barry Rubin: U.K. Schools' Sickening Silence

Roundup: Talking About History

AS a Middle East specialist, I daily see material from Arab and Islamic sources containing hair-raising threats against America, Israel and the West. But an item in a British newspaper may be the scariest sentence I ever read: A report by the U.K. Department for Education and Skills says that schools in England are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils.

And it's not just that the institution most entrusted with preserving democratic society and Western civilization - the school system - is betraying that trust.

The really scary sentence is this: "Some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial."

Get it? These kids are told at home or by Muslim preachers that the Holocaust never happened - teachers aren't challenging that misinformation, they're shutting up so as not to disturb a world view based on lies.

By the same token, schools are dropping lessons on the Crusades. And not even for the poor excuse that such teaching might stir social conflict, but rather because "lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques." Another worry cited in press reports: "Fears [that] Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class."

It's not just Britain; in France, the rot has gone even further.

Thus, British and French educators are ready to abandon 500 years of progress owing to open intellectual inquiry through the use of logic. The schools won't confront or challenge students but rather will leave them safe in their prejudices.

Aside from the broader implications, such behavior constitutes a reinforcement of racism, intolerance and hatred in the name of a philosophy - political correctness - that is supposed to combat these things.

Note, also, that there have been no riots or mass protests to demand this rush to preserve ignorance. This is not only surrender but a preemptive one - offered before it's even demanded.

Up until now, democratic, modern societies have successfully absorbed large numbers of immigrants because of the process of assimilation (or, in milder form, acculturation). The idea, so successful in the United States, has been that immigrants must accept the society's rules. And why not, since it has been so successful? The West's stability, freedom and material benefits are why people come. Immigrants were and are free to keep most of their own culture and all of their religion.

But now the successful, free society feels compelled to adapt to less successful, unfree ones. Where does it end? Can schools teach democracy to those told this is heresy, because laws can only be made by God? Can evolution, if it contradicts what is said in mosques, or might provoke complaints in class? ...

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Nicholas Clifford - 4/14/2007

This is extraordinary, if true. Could you share with us the source for the "item in a British newspaper?" A quick check of the UK Dept. for Education and Skills seems to contain quite a bit on the teaching of the Holocaust.