When teachers can’t add 2+2

The recent vote taken by the student union body of Goldsmiths College in London to refrain from commemorating Holocaust Observance Day because it is “Eurocentric” and “colonialist” is as brazen in its audacity as it is anti-semitic in its intent.

The Egyptian-Muslim student leader, Sarah al-alfy, who implored the student body to reject the motion no doubt feels she has put in one for the brothers and sisters.

It would appear that, as a British Muslim, while Sarah al-alfy is keen that (mainly) Christian Britons accept her as Muslim and British, she sees no moral or intellectual dissonance in denying the right of others to grieve man’s inhumanity to man simply because they are not Muslim; or simply because they are European.

Moreover, Sarah al-alfy would also be hard pressed to explain why the Goldsmiths decision precludes the commemoration of other genocides in Afghanistan, North Korea, China, Japan (in Manchuria), Cambodia or Rwanda. Is it merely because they are not European or because it does not involve 6 million Jews???

Even if we disregard Sarah al-alfy’s enthusiasm as a lack of maturity or ‘romantic’ over-exuberance fueled by European media spin, the fact that the vote was taken and passed at a teachers training college is of more significance. Goldsmiths College, University of London, is a premier teacher education facility in England.

That this college was targeted by Muslim activists and sympathisers to influence young non-muslim teachers in training who will soon go out and teach all over Britain and Europe, is significant because of the influence teachers have over their charges. Mutliply that by around 45 to 47 years  in a teaching career in various metropolitan or country teaching authorities in and around the United Kingdom per Goldsmiths student, and the true significance of the vote and the efforts to reach the result becomes much clearer.

Intending teachers do not start of their college life as particularly intelligent or well-read members of society. Student teachers are students first and teachers only later. That most develop sooner rather than later as custodians of culturally situated valued knowledge in a cultural tradition which still mainly values the written word is, in most instances, true.

However, deliberately targeting impressionable young teachers who are unfamiliar with the minutae and nuances of the Israeli-Arab conflict to take a decision which deliberately ignores one of the greatest crimes (numbers wise..) ever committed because they are Jews or Armenians is brazen, deliberate, well-thought out and one more stepping stone in the eyes of a vocal, violent few to the inevitable establishment of a Caliphate in Europe.

It is brazen because London is in Europe and is led by a monarch who is sworn to be an upholder of the values and mores of a Protestant Church of England.

The Sarah al-alfy led decision for the students’ union to disassociate itself from the observance of Holocaust Memorial Day, European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, Holodomor [Ukrainian] Memorial Day Act and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day is as short-sighted, cynical and puerile in its inception as it is insulting in its intent. It is racist.

It is a cocky declaration of non-acceptance of other if you are Jewish or Armenian or Ukranian and a disturbing display of the inability to empathise with human suffering so typical of the non-thinking “me-too” group think which typified the rise and rule of European fascism in Germany, Spain, France and Italy a generation ago.

Sarah al-alfy’s exhortations to the student union to reject observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day at Goldsmiths College because it is “Eurocentric” and “colonialist” can now be contextualised for what it is: one more attempt to delegitimize targeted ethno-religious groups with yet another rejection of other.

The Goldsmiths decision, yet again, turns the original aims of political correctness on its head. The Goldsmiths decision mainstreams bigotry, so long as it is directed at Europeans and not against Muslims. The Goldsmiths decision makes it fashionable/attractive for uni students to turn against the cultures, learning and personal freedoms it offers people like Sarah al-alfy who is happy to take the best it can offer while at the same time exhorting others to delegitimize it. More worryingly, the Goldsmiths decision frames a lack of empathy as OK as long as it is directed at Armenians and Jews.

Sarah al-alfy herself will soon fade into obscurity. She is not the issue. She was merely a willing pawn in a wider, well thought out gambit aimed at delegitimizing others on ethno-religious grounds. What she on the other hand stands for, as an Egyptian Muslim in Britain, certainly IS the issue.

This disturbs and angers me particularly because I am a long, long lapsed alumnus of the College.

Is Londonistan (cf. Melanie Philips) finally a reality in the British Isles???

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