SOURCE: NYT (2-27-08)
Yet, when Professor Popkin opened his e-mail that day, he was informed that his class did not exist. “This week, the University of Kentucky removed the Holocaust from its school curriculum,” the message stated, “because it offended the Muslim population, which claims it never occurred.” All faculty members’ e-mail addresses from the history department were listed among the message’s recipients.
Over the past year, faculty members and administrators at the university’s main campus in Lexington have collectively received thousands of e-mail messages like this one, repeating the same baseless accusation — that pressure from Muslims had led the university to drop its Holocaust course. Like many who have sent these messages, the writer added her own preface to the one that appeared in Professor Popkin’s mailbox, writing in part: “I cannot see how you faculty can go to work each day and face a generation of young adults that will be lied to even more than my generation. What next? Are we going to rewrite the facts of 9/11 so that they fit the Middle Eastern beliefs? This is simply shameful, and I am disgusted by it.”...
“Initially, you get a couple of e-mails that on the face of it are ludicrous,” said Jay Blanton, executive director of public relations and marketing for the university. “We thought, surely people aren’t going to take this preposterous rumor seriously. And then you see it doesn’t die, it persists.”