A Kinder, Gentler Koran

A university wanted to teach a post-9/11 lesson in understanding. Critics say it's a whitewash

Homework is usually controversial only for the students who have to do it. But this summer the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which customarily assigns a book to its incoming freshmen, chose Approaching the Qur'an, a set of heavily annotated excerpts from the Muslim Holy Writ. Chancellor James Moeser reportedly asked his trustees, "What could be more timely?" And what could be more predictable than the brouhaha that followed: the rumbling overture on Christian websites; the brassy solo by Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, who compared the assignment to having students read Hitler's Mein Kampf in 1941; and the inevitable...

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