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Hoax - University of Kentucky Removes Holocaust From Curriculum

Outline
Protest email claims that the University of Kentucky is about to remove teachings of the Holocaust from its school curriculum because it could offend the Muslim population.



Brief Analysis
The claims in the protest message are untrue. The University of Kentucky has no plans to remove the Holocaust from its school curriculum. The university has categorically denied the claims in the message. In fact, the email is a mutated version of an earlier message that claimed that the UK (United Kingdom) was removing information about the Holocaust from its school curriculum. It seems that somebody mistakenly assumed that the abbreviation "UK" in the original message stood for the University of Kentucky and therefore changed the message accordingly.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 25th January 2011
First published: 25th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: An Untimely Sad Message

IN MEMORIAM


This week the University of Kentucky removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Muslim population, which claims it never occurred. This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it. It is now more than 60 years since the Second World War in Europe ended.

This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!

Now more than ever, with Iran among others claiming the Holocaust to be "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets. This e-mail is intended to reach 40 million people worldwide!

Join us and be a link in the memorial chain and help us distribute it around the world. Please send this e-mail to 10 people you know and ask them to continue the memorial chain.

Please don't just delete it. It will only take you a minute to pass this along.




Detailed Analysis
According to this message, which bills itself as a "memorial chain", the University of Kentucky is about to remove references to the Holocaust from its curriculum. According to the message, the University of Kentucky has decided to take this step because mention of the Holocaust offended the Muslim population. It urges recipients to pass on the information in the hope of reaching 40 million people worldwide.

However the claims in the message are untrue. The University of Kentucky has no intention of removing information about the Holocaust from its curriculum. These nonsensical claims about the University of Kentucky apparently began circulating due to a rather bizarre error by a reader of an earlier, almost identical protest email. The earlier message claimed that the UK - as in the United Kingdom - was the entity set to remove mention of the Holocaust from its school curriculum. Thus it seems that somebody may have mistakenly concluded that the abbreviation "UK" in the original message actually stood for "University of Kentucky". One can therefore surmise that he or she then helpfully substituted the full "University of Kentucky" title in place of the original "UK" before sending on the message. Thus, the accusation levelled at the University of Kentucky was based on a misunderstanding and has no factual basis.

The wording of the protest suggests that the supposed change is set to take place "this week" thereby implying that the information is current. In fact, the hoax email first began circulating back in 2007, and has been passed around ever since. In November 2007, the University of Kentucky published a statement debunking the hoax email:
The University of Kentucky would like you to know that it is not afraid to teach students about the Holocaust, no matter what a widely circulated e-mail message claims.

A digital chain letter, which first surfaced earlier this year [2007], castigates the institution for allegedly eliminating the Holocaust from its curriculum in deference to a vocal Muslim community that denied the tragedy ever took place. “This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it,” the messages goes on to say, before asking each recipient to “continue the memorial chain” by forwarding the note to 10 more people.

In fact, though, the university has never even considered jettisoning courses in the Holocaust. Kentucky offers an interdisciplinary minor in Judaic studies, and its history department devotes an entire 300-level course to the Holocaust, campus officials said in a written statement today.
Ironically, even the original United Kingdom version of the protest email which served as a template for the University of Kentucky hoax, was itself highly misleading and inaccurate. Interested readers can view a separate article about the United Kingdom version here.

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U. of Kentucky Afflicted by Spurious E-Mail Chain Letter About the Holocaust
Holocaust Ban in UK Schools Chain Email



Last updated: 25th January 2011
First published: 25th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer