East Carolina, 01 Rabiul Awwal 1434/13 January 2013 (MINA) – A recent federal grant to provide American libraries with a collection of books, films and other resources about Muslims in the United States and around the world is stirring debates after an Eastern Carolina congressman urged libraries to reject the books.
“It is appalling to me that a federal agency like the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is wasting taxpayer money on programs like this,” Taking a stand against the federal grant, US reporter Walter Jones told Havelok News.
The “Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys” was developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and American Library Association, according to OnIslam.net report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Saturday (12/1).
The grant would be given to around 50 Michigan libraries and its state humanities council. Each library will receive 25 books, three films and a year of access to Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
Book titles include: “The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam,” “The Story of the Qur’an,” “Muhammad,” and “A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America.”
The NEH says it wants to provide resources “to enhance libraries’ collections and their capacity to engage audiences” in an attempt to give the public trustworthy resources about Muslim beliefs and practices.
A Gallup poll found in August 2011 that the majority of Americans Muslims are loyal to their country and optimistic about their future in the United States.
Despite controversy surrounding the grant, officials at Craven Community College welcomed the new books for offering information about US Muslims from a trusted source.
“An institute of higher learning is always looking for ways to navigate a global society,” Craven County Board of Trustees Chairwoman Carol Mattocks said.
“This fits in the mission of the college of improving and enhancing the lives of individuals and communities by providing opportunities to prepare students for a global society,” Judy Eurich, director of marketing, communications and development liaison at Craven College said.
The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is a collection of 25 books selected to help public audiences in the United States become more familiar with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims around the world, including those within the U.S. The Bookshelf will be awarded to 1,000 libraries across the country in December 2012, for use in presenting public programs in 2013. (T/R-010/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)