News + Politics
Morocco to Introduce Holocaust Education to Schools
The latest salvo against anti-Semitism has come from an unexpected source—Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, who has decided to incorporate Holocaust education into his country’s schoolbooks. “The battle against this plague cannot be handled carelessly,” the king said in his September announcement, made while he was attending the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York. “It above all depends on education and culture. In the interest of our children, it is important for us to win it because they will be the beneficiaries and our ambassadors in the future.”
Morocco has a long history of tolerance toward its Jews and largely protected them during the Holocaust, which is commemorated on International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the date of the liberation of Auschwitz. Today, the Moroccan Jewish community comprises approximately 2,500 Jews. The king’s personal adviser, André Azoulay, is Jewish. After the king’s announcement, Audrey Azoulay—the Paris-born daughter of the adviser and now the director of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization—tweeted: “To address anti-Semitism is to defend equal dignity for all human beings. Education is the best tool to prevent all forms of discrimination.”
Mehnaz Afridi, director of the Holocaust, Genocide & Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College in New York City and herself an observant Muslim, says Morocco’s initiative is “a great step in eradicating Holocaust denial and encouraging students to think about issues of racism and anti-Semitism. Global anti-Semitism has many faces, and one of them is within Muslim communities, where there is much lack of knowledge.”
The United States doesn’t mandate Holocaust education nationwide, “so this is an issue here, too,” the professor adds. “If Holocaust education were mandated everywhere, we might see a difference.”
Gary Lawson says
Bravo for writing a wonderful and very important story. If the world teaches truth and tolerance to youth the future might be much better.
Editors. This is the first time I have read your mag from cover to cover and I promise I am going to repeat that again and again in the future. Hadassah might be mostly a women’s organization, and that’s good, but your magazine should be read by all. Gary
David McKee says
It is hard to find Muslims like those mentioned in this article in the countries surrounding Israel. Buy, I know there must be some. I was stationed at the U. S. Marine Barracks in Kenitra, Morocco in 1964-65 and found Moroccan Muslims to be considerate and amiable people. I am Jewish and have many relatives of Jewish Moroccan descent and living in Israel. The common thread that runs through their souls is a love for Morocco. My wife was born and raised in Casablanca. I believe the King is doing G-d’s work with this decision. May he reap the blessings of G-d.
Beata Rock says
well said Mr McKee thank you for sharing…