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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 27, 2002

Carolina in the News

Current International Coverage

Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people 
and programs cited recently in the international and national media:

American Islam under attack 
The Religion Report
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

In the USA, as war rhetoric against Iraq heats up, conservative commentators are feeling 
freer to issue broad denunciations of Islam at home...The University of North Carolina, at 
Chapel Hill
, ended up in court this month defending a decision to make an English translation 
of extracts from the Qu’ran a compulsory text for all first-year students who were then asked 
to write a paper on what they had read... Now a Federal Court judge has ruled in the 
University’s favour. And we’re joined by Professor Charles Kurzman, who teaches a 
fascinating course on modernist Islam at UNC Chapel Hill...
(Note: To listen to the interview online, go to and click on "American Islam 
under Attack.")

Current National Coverage

Get educated about others' beliefs (Commentary)
Seattle Post Intelligencer

The way I see it, we've got two ways to deal long-term with the religious strife that underlies 
much of the murder, mayhem and violence around the world... Unfortunately, none of this is 
going to be easy, as 20 freshmen at the University of North Carolina learned this month when 
they gathered to begin reading a book about the Quran under the instruction of James 
Moeser, their brave chancellor.

Expanding Horizons (Editorial) 
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.)

The University of North Carolina provoked quite a stir over its sound decision to help educate 
its students on something many Americans know little about - Islam...

Absurd university uproar (Editorial)
Sunday Gazette-Mail (Charleston, W.V.)

Incoming freshmen at the University of North Carolina are asked each summer to read a 
book for common discussion, to sharpen their minds about important public topics. One 
summer it was a book on poverty in a Chicago housing project. Another, it was a book on 
the Civil War.

Students should explore religions — not lawsuits (Editorial)
The Daily Kent Stater (student publication from Kent State University)

Schools of higher education pride themselves in providing an environment that nurtures 
knowledge and promotes diversity. The University of North Carolina should be applauded in 
its attempt to open the minds of the 3,500 freshmen students enrolled this year who are asked 
to read and discuss the controversial book, "Approaching the Qur'an: the Early Revelations."

UNC decision sets bar for increased global knowledge (Editorial)
The Daily Iowan (student publication from the University of Iowa)

Earlier this summer, controversy erupted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, over 
a book assigned as part of a yearly summer reading program for new incoming students. The 
program, aimed at creating a common experience for new students, as well as stimulating 
discussion and critical thinking, selected the book Approaching the Qur'an: The Early 
(Note: The Daily Iowan requires free registration to access some articles.)

Alternative views lead to greater understanding (Commentary)
The Daily Nebraskan (student publication from the University of Nebraska)

It's the start of another school year here at the NFL developmental camp we jokingly refer to 
as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and many important questions are being raised about 
issues that affect all of us... The University of North Carolina has recently been embroiled in a 
conflict over a summer reading program that required incoming freshmen to read and discuss a 
book that examined verses from the Koran, the holy book of Islam.

Reading the Koran (Letter to the Editor)
The New York Times

To the Editor: Students at the University of North Carolina are reading a book about Islam, 
and this has aroused strong opposition from some religious conservatives ("Talk, and Debate, 
on Koran as Chapel Hill Classes Open," front page, Aug. 20).
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.)

Politically Correct About the Koran (Letter to the Editor)
The Washington Post 

I think The Post ["To Read the Koran," editorial, Aug.22] and the University of North Carolina 
missed the point. I see nothing wrong with having students understand the Koran...

Koran vs. Bible (Letter to the Editor)
Chicago Tribune

Regarding Clarence Page's column about the University of North Carolina ("Dummying up: For 
fear of reading a book about the Koran," Commentary, Aug. 11),

Qur'an (Letters to the Editor)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

University shows narrow-mindedness. The Journal Sentinel made numerous logical errors in 
praising a federal appeals court for not intervening in the University of North Carolina's decision 
to require students to read a book about the Qur'an ("The right decision on a book," Aug. 21)...
(Note: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel included three letters to the editor yesterday. To view 
all of the letters, please go to the above url and scroll down the web page.)

State and Local Coverage

How it works (Editorial)
News and Observer

Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will need to become used to study
lamps instead of the national spotlight that has been focused on them thanks to a reading 
assignment for "Approaching the Quran," and the ensuing seminars that preceded last week's start 
of regular classes. (Chancellor James Moeser is scheduled to see the spotlight again today in an 
appearance at the National Press Club in Washington.)

A closer look at Islamic faith interesting, illuminating (Opinion-Editorial Column)
Asheville Citizen-Times

I don't know why it is that in America, the Land of the Free, people who call themselves Christians 
are behaving like book-burning fanatics. They want to protect students from the Qur'an, a book that, 
chances are, they've neither read nor know the first thing about...

Students are the winners in Quran flap (Editorial)
Chapel Hill Herald 

The incoming freshman and transfer students seem to have a more balanced understanding of 
the issues than their elders. As the dust finally begins to settle and as the bombast mercifully floats 
away, it may be instructive to take a look at the entire controversy generated by the choice of one 
book at one school.
(Note: The Chapel Hill Herald requires free registration to access archives.)

The real mission (Editorial)
News and Observer

On the same day that students and professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
commenced, and finished, their seminars on a book about Islam's holy scriptures, a lower-profile 
but higher priority event happened. The ribbon was cut on the renovated Robert B. House 
undergraduate library.

Check out the library (Letter to the Editor) 
News and Observer

Amid all the furor over Michael Sells' "Approaching the Qur'an" no one has pointed out that any 
of the books the critics would have substituted for his book are available to any reader in the 
(Note: David Taylor is undergraduate librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill.)

Students in guide say UNC ‘hot’ spot 
Chapel Hill Herald

This just in: UNC is hot. No, this time we’re not talking about the scorching Chapel Hill summer.
This time, the "hot" designation comes courtesy of Newsweek magazine, which has tapped Carolina 
as part of its "How to Get into College" annual publication as one of a dozen colleges drawing "rave" 
reviews from students.
(Note: For more information about the recent rankings, please click here.) 

News and Observer

Scholars, civil rights advocates and policy makers will be among a group of about 200 people who 
will gather for a daylong conference at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill on Aug. 30 to discuss racial 
resegregation in Southern schools... The UNC-CH School of Public Health has received renewal 
of a $5 million training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences...

Word spreads on avoiding West Nile 
News and Observer

Here's the latest advice for staying safe during the searing summer in the Triangle: If you go outside 
at dusk or dawn, wear long pants, long sleeves and slather on the bug spray. And get rid of that 
barrel you've been using to save rainwater for your drought-stricken plants... "Now, I'm always 
on the lookout for dead birds," said Gloria Park, 26, a doctoral student in art history at UNC-
Chapel Hill.

Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina

Gender Gap in College May Be Traced to Attitudes During Junior High, Researchers Say
The Chronicle of Higher Education

More girls than boys in junior high school expect to attend college later, and the differing expectations 
of girls and boys contribute to the growing gender gap in college enrollments, according to a new
survey by researchers at Florida State University.
(Note: The Chronicle of Higher Education requires a subscription to access articles.)

UNC-CH's plans for land worry neighbors 

Residents of Elkin Hills, a 1950s-era neighborhood near the center of town, packed into a meeting 
room Thursday night hoping to persuade UNC-Chapel Hill officials to reconsider plans for a 
maintenance, fueling and storage facility on state land abutting the community.

More dorms might help UNC, town (Commentary)
Chapel Hill Herald 

Summer ambles along, hot and dry. The days shorten, hot and dry. My tomato plants die, hot and 
dry. The air, however, is hot and wet. August arrives with no relief. If anything, it just gets hotter and 
rains even less... In recent years the relationship between the town and the university has grown 
more problematic. Chapel Hill has developed past being a company town with other reasons to exist 
beyond the university.
(Note: The Chapel Hill Herald requires fre registration to access archives.)

Note: If you have any questions about Carolina in the News, 
please call Cathleen Keyser or Mike McFarland at News Services, 
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