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US university sued over Quran class, right winger says Quran is book of "our enemy's religion".

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  • Islamic News and Information Network
    Assalamu alaikum While their lips keep flapping, Islam keeps growing:))) When they start speaking well of us then we are in trouble. ININ ... US university
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2002
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      Assalamu'alaikum

      While their lips keep flapping, Islam keeps growing:))) When they start
      speaking well of us then we are in trouble.

      ININ
      ----------------

      US university sued over Koran class

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2178067.stm


      A US university that included a book on the Koran in a class for new
      students is being sued by a Christian organisation and a group of
      students.

      They claim the university is unfairly promoting one religion at the
      expense of others.

      The incident has led to renewed controversy over American attitudes
      towards Islam following the 11 September attacks.

      The case began when the University of North Carolina chose professor
      Michael Sells's book, "Approaching the Qur'an" for one of its courses.

      The university felt that interest in Islam had increased among the student
      population.

      "We are obviously not promoting one religion," the university's Chancellor
      James Moeser told the Washington Post newspaper.

      "What more timely subject could there be?"

      'Violated rights'

      Students were required to read the book - a translation into English of
      passages from Islam's holy book - as part of a first-year course.

      But legal action group the American Family Association Centre for Law &
      Policy, part of conservative Christian group the American Family
      Association, filed a lawsuit on behalf of three students and two former
      students in late July.

      It claimed that the university's requirement to read the book violated
      their First Amendment rights.

      It added that the book does not present a full picture of Islam as it does
      not contain passages cited by Islamic militants as justification for acts
      of terror.

      The university later amended the course so that students would have an
      option not to read the book - although those who objected would have to
      write a paper on why they chose not to.

      But this was dismissed by the organisation.

      "Pitting students who object to the forced reading of the Koran against
      those who do not is the modern equivalent of requiring the objecting
      students to wear yellow stars of David," the organisation said in a
      statement.

      The university countered last week by asking a judge in North Carolina to
      dismiss the suit and the university's religious professor, Carl W Ernst,
      accused the group of bias.

      "It is easy to take phrases out of context from any sacred book," he told
      the newspaper.

      "This is part of a long history of anti-Islamic bias that is akin to
      anti-Semitism or even racism."

      Bigotry accusations

      The study and teaching of Islam in US universities has increased in
      popularity since 11 September, although attitudes towards the religion in
      some sectors have caused controversy.

      Comments made by conservative Christian groups in the US have sparked
      criticism and accusations of bigotry.

      Shortly after the attacks, evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy
      Graham, wrote in the Wall Street Journal newspaper that the Koran
      "provides ample evidence that Islam encourages violence in order to win
      converts and to reach the ultimate goal of an Islamic world".

      Right-wing pundit Bill O'Reilly said on his Fox News Network programme
      that teaching the Koran to US students was wrong as it was the book of
      "our enemy's religion".


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