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                                                                                                                                                                                                                               NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279

August 19, 2002

Carolina in the News

Note: Carolina is receiving extensive coverage today concerning the summer reading program, 
which was completed successfully earlier this afternoon. Following is a partial sampling of 
coverage reported earlier today. Tomorrow's installment of Carolina in the News will provide 
additional details.

Current National Coverage

Required Reading (Editorial)
The New York Times

Every summer for the past three years, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has 
asked incoming freshmen to read a single book and be prepared to discuss it during their 
orientation week.
(Note: Today's editorial reflects conversations between the Times editorial writer and 
Chancellor Moeser and Professor Carl Ernst, among others. News Services initiated those 
discussions last week. The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.)

Appeals court refuses to halt Quran course for freshmen at University of North Carolina 
San Francisco Chronicle

A federal appeals court refused Monday to halt a program to expose new students at the 
University of North Carolina to information about the Quran.
(Note: This Associated Press story is appearing in print and on Web sites of several major 
nation newspapers and media outlets including The Canadian Press, The Guardian (UK)
The Miami Herald, The Baltimore Sun, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The 
Charlotte Observer, and The Winston-Salem Journal.)

Does Islam foster extremism? (Commentary)
The Boston Globe

The Sept. 11 attack on the United States in which Islamic radicals killed nearly 3,000 
Americans has not only brought the problem of Muslim extremism to the forefront of our 
consciousness but also led to an effort to understand Islam itself... At the University of 
North Carolina at Chapel Hill
this year, freshmen will be required to read and write an essay
about a book called ''Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations,'' a collection of 
annotated excerpts from the Koran.

The Islamists and their unlikely allies (Commentary)
The Chicago Tribune

President Bush repeatedly has declared that Islam is not the enemy in the war on terrorism, 
but some of his staunchest supporters have failed to get the point... The latest attack has 
been focused on the University of North Carolina for assigning incoming freshmen to read 
a book called "Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations."

For Muslims, an Uneasy Anniversary
The New York Times

One day next month, when all of New York is draped in commemoration, many of the 
city's Muslims will be grieving and seeking solace; but some Muslims say that on that day, 
Sept. 11, they will feel resentment... In the weeks before the anniversary of the attack 
on the World Trade Center, the atmosphere has been complicated by statements and 
actions that many Muslims find offensive. Among them are the North Carolina Legislature's 
efforts to block the use of public funds for the assigned reading of excerpts from the Koran 
at the University of North Carolina unless other religions receive equal time.
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.)

Live-Donor Procedures Carry Risks, Experts Say
Newsday (New York)

The operation to transfer a section of liver from a living donor has developed, experts 
concede, with little oversight, no long-term data on outcomes and perplexing ethical issues... 
However, the authors, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, said the findings 
may be lower than the true incidence.

American Sociological Association Announces Winners of Its 2002 Awards
The Chronicle of Higher Education

The American Sociological Association presented its 2002 awards on Saturday at the 
association's annual meeting, in Chicago. The awards and recipients are: Gerhard E. Lenski, 
a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who 
received the Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award.
(Note: The Chronicle of Higher Education requires a subscription to access articles.)

National News Notes

A story about the summer reading program including an interview with Chancellor Moeser 
is expected to air on CNN's "Newsnight with Aaron Brown" Monday, August 19, at 10:00 p.m. 

State and Local Coverage

Scholarly inquiry is affirmed at UNC 
Greensboro News and Record

A federal judge in Greensboro has decided students may read and discuss Michael Sells' 
book, "Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations," in study groups on Monday. And 
on Thursday, a committee of the UNC Board of Governors is expected to reconsider a 
failed resolution affirming the value of that and other scholarly inquiries.

UNC-CH defends program 
Greensboro News and Record

Forbidding a summer reading program about the Quran would have a chilling effect on 
academic freedom, UNC-Chapel Hill responded in court papers Saturday concerning a 
Christian group's fight to shut it down.

Book discussions set to go ahead 
About 180 study groups are scheduled to meet today at UNC-Chapel Hill for discussions 
on a book about the Quran, unless a federal appellate court in Richmond issues a last-minute 
injunction to stop the summer reading program.

UNC tries to get a grip on uproar
Winston-Salem Journal

The University of North Carolina board of governors, smarting from a barrage of bad
publicity, wants a chance to explain its position after failing to pass a resolution supporting 
academic freedom.

Quran controversy recalls Speaker Ban 
An attempt by the state House to block funding for UNC’s summer reading program has a 
familiar, albeit distasteful, ring to some longtime residents of this left-leaning college town.

UNC students thought book reading required 
Just as they had to lug their belongings into their dorms Saturday, most incoming UNC 
students felt they had no choice about the university’s controversial summer reading program.

Chancellor says Quran debate is a ‘shining moment’ for UNC 
In the last month, UNC’s summer reading program has gone from a somewhat noteworthy 
feature of orientation to a lightning rod for a national debate over the core values upon which 
the country is founded.

Quran debate moving to class
Patricia Williams, a UNC-Chapel Hill freshman from Concord, didn't give much thought to 
her summer reading assignment, "Approaching the Qur'án," until she heard bickering one 
night on a cable TV talk show. Someone was saying that the book painted a rosy picture of 

UNC won't change reading program description 
UNC will not alter its description of its summer reading program, despite the demands of a 
Virginia-based Christian values group who believe the university is disingenuous in not doing 

Faculty set to teach Quran
University officials spent Friday putting the final touches on plans for Monday's campus-wide 
discussion of this year's freshman summer reading assignment now that a federal judge has 
cleared the way for the program to go forward.

Making the case
With time short and motions on either side that would affect the university's plan to hold 
seminars Monday on a summer reading featuring excerpts from the Quran, lawyers for the 
state and a Christian rights group argued a religious freedom case with an added twist.

UNC says it will not alter Web site after ruling 

The University of North Carolina will not alter the description of its summer reading program, 
despite the demands of a Virginia-based Christian values group.

Approaching Qur'an': What's the fuss about? 
Charlotte Observer

New students at UNC-Chapel Hill will gather today for group discussions on their summer 
reading assignment, "Approaching The Qur'an: The Early Revelations." They will, that is, unless 
some court order or legislative edict interrupts the process.

It’s education, not preaching (Editorial)
Wilmington Morning Star

A federal judge looked at the facts and exercised common sense when he ruled that UNC-
Chapel Hill could go ahead with voluntary discussions about a book on the Quran.

Summer Reading (Editorial)
Fayetteville Observer

This has been a strange summer and not only because of the punishing drought. Common 
sense also withered in the North Carolina heat, and it took a federal judge to try to restore it. 
An appeals court gets its say next. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Tilley Jr. 
reaffirmed that a university's mission is to expose students to a wealth of ideas and to a 
world of beliefs.

Comedy of errors from the get-go (Editorial)

A frequent criticism of American higher education condemns it as an insular refuge of lock-
step liberalism, out of touch with and even hostile toward traditional values. Apparently, it 
did not occur to anyone in the decision-making process at UNC Chapel Hill that choosing 
“Approaching the Qu’ran: The Early Revelations” for freshmen and transfer students to read 
over the summer was a bad idea. But it was, and the university has paid dearly for its hubris.

Closing the book (Editorial)

Perhaps this will be the end of it. Pending appeals, U.S. District Court Judge N. Carlton 
Tilley of Greensboro has rejected a challenge to a reading assignment for new students at 
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda at UNC (Commentary)
As you the bridge player might say after your partner has jump-shifted and you're trying to 
decide whether to go straight to game, "Let's review the bidding." With the Furious Quran 
Flap of 2002 having reached full boil more than a week ago -- and with new students at 
UNC-Chapel Hill heading for their assigned gab groups tomorrow -- what points and 
themes have emerged that merit a little ongoing cogitation?

Quranban: Great lesson for class of '06 (Commentary)
Welcome to Chapel Hill, UNC freshmen! If a federal court ruling on Friday stands, you're 
probably busy trying to finish "Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations" in time for
the freshmen seminars on Monday. Savor this time; you may be part of history.

Program provides needed global view (Editorial)
In the search for dollars to balance the state budget, the House has reached a long arm into 
the programs that come under the budget of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
and plucked one out to shut down.

Campus clergy support book choice (Letter to the Editor)
The members of the Campus Ministers' Association adopted the following statement at 
their meeting Monday. We, the members of the Campus Ministers' Association at UNC-
Chapel Hill, support the decision to require entering students to read books that invite 
thoughtful reflection and inquiry.

Freedom must win out (Letter to the Editor)
Regarding the Aug. 16 article "UNC Quran reading is upheld": I am pleased that U.S. 
District Judge N. Carlton Tilley Jr. showed some sense in refusing to block the UNC-
Chapel Hill summer reading program.

Sunday Forum: A Disputed Reading
Following are six letters to the editor published Sunday as a group in The News and 
Observer's "Q" section:

Opponents seem to seek negative view of a faith (Letter to the Editor)
It was something of a relief to read on Aug. 16 that a federal judge in Greensboro 
ruled that UNC-Chapel Hill may continue with its assigned reading project on the Quran.

Freedom, undermined (Letter to the Editor)

I have been haunted by a recurring nightmare: our whole country has awoken 50 years 
ago, on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain.

Seekers of truth (Letter to the Editor)

Academic freedom cannot co-exist with biased narrow-mindedness. So why would UNC-
Chapel Hill demand that new students read a one-sided view of one single religion?

Adding to conflict (Letter to the Editor)
I certainly hope that the legislature will ban public funds from UNC-Chapel Hill in trying 
to force freshmen to read passages from the Quran. Have they ever required students to 
read from the Bible or other publications from other religions?

A vote against sanity (Letter to the Editor)
During the weeks and months following Sept. 11, many Americans asked themselves 
"why did those terrorists hate us so much?" And "why do so many others in the world 
seem to feel the same way?"

It's indoctrination (Letter to the Editor)
There seems to be a general tone in People's Forum letters that we need to enlighten 
ourselves on the teachings of Islam. Unfortunately, most of the young adults entering college 
today are just as uninformed on the faith of our Founding Fathers as they are on the faith 
of the terrorists, but imagine the outcry if a public institution required all incoming students 
to read a book on the life of Jesus.

Reading requirement an aid in understanding current events (Letter to the Editor)
Greensboro News and Record

I strongly support UNC's decision to have incoming freshmen read the Qur'an. Islamic 
scholarship is an integral part of Western culture and must be included in any self-respecting 
college curriculum.

Reading could eliminate misconceptions of Islam (Letter to the Editor)
Greensboro News and Record

In a week I will enter my third year as a Carolina student. My school has been in the news 
recently, and I have been shocked by the public outcry against its decision to require 
freshman to read a book on Islam.

Voices from the Hill (Person on the Street)
Should the state legislature regulate what is taught at the university?

Comments on UNC controversy 
The following are excerpts from columns and editorials written in recent days by media outlets 
around the nation on the controversial UNC summer reading program.

After delays, UNC student union addition welcomes groups 
After nearly a year of delays and a series of construction problems, UNC’s student union 
addition is essentially complete.

New faces, sore backs 
Scenes of sweat and hard labor were the order of the day Saturday as movers, aka parents, 
helped thousands of students return to campus. Students moved into dorms Saturday at 
N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Meredith College. The move-in for Peace 
College is today and this week for Duke University.

Post-Sept. 11 rules add hurdles for foreign students 
Martin Brooks arrived from Scotland on Wednesday, excited about exchanging economics classes
at the University of Glasgow -- economist Adam Smith's alma mater -- for a year at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina

Wired Students Prefer Campus News on Paper
The New York Times

Here's news. Even though college campuses are some of the most wired places on Earth, printed 
versions of college newspapers remain far more popular than their online editions.
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.)

Students cause little change in water usage 

The Triangle is host to about 79,000 college and university students each year, swelling the region's
population. But local water officials say the opening of the fall semester shouldn't have a big impact 
on the region's water conservation efforts.
(Note: Related stories were featured in The Chapel Hill News

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