Some Jewish girls, plainly prevented by the nature of their social values from asserting their religious and cultural identities by just wearing a veil or a promise ring or whatever, have achieved this seemingly fashionable goal by boycotting Shakespeare in their GCSE exams.
Because of his anti-semitism, it appears…..
I assume they are thinking about the Merchant of Venice. Even if you choose to ignore the fact that Shakespeare actually gave Shylock some of the most stirring anti-bigotry speeches ever written, Shakespeare’s views on any topic (if you can deduce what they might have been) were the views of a sixteenth century playwright.
Should we only read or listen to or look at works of art if we agree 100% with the worldview of their creator? In that case, we had better get really brilliant at writing and painting and making music, because, for each of us, there is only one person that we will ever agree with completely. Even then, we must be careful not to change our minds as a result of experience, because we won’t be able to use even our own creations then.
Why stop at works of art? Can I live in a house built by people who are on the other side of the political spectrum? Wear clothes when the person who made them might not agree that we are heading straight towards ecological disaster? My Freya, I suspect that the person who made the cup I’m drinking from didn’t believe the Wire was the best TV series ever made.
Discussing the school students’ absurdity in the Guardian, Seth Freedman argued that this sort of religiously-inspired intervention in education is inherently dangerous.
Policy makers should be joining the dots and realising that they have a tough choice to make when it comes to appeasing religious minorities on the one hand, and making Britain a country that opposes fundamentalism and extremism on the other……
The reluctance of religious institutions to pay heed to secular teaching methods can be found right across the spectrum of faiths in the UK, as well as abroad. Devout Christians are just as unlikely to force their children to learn how man descended from monkeys as ultra-orthodox Jewish parents are, and so too is the case with strict adherents of Islam.