There was no photo-op or press release from Rep. Walter Jones’ (R-NC) office when a local library in his district was awarded a federal grant to expand its collection.
Instead, in an exceedingly rare move, Jones actually criticized the grant money that will soon be coming to eastern North Carolina for one reason: it will be used to buy books about Muslim culture.
Craven Community College, a small school in New Bern, was recently awarded a small National Endowment for the Humanities grant. The money, enough for 25 books and a DVD, is intended to expand the library’s Muslim culture collection. Jones protested that the money was unfairly benefiting Muslims and harming Christians, as he explained in a local TV interview. [Think Progress]
Jones thinks these 25 books and a DVD should be offset by an equal number of “Judeo-Christian” items.
I ent to the Craven Community College online catalog and found 70 titles under the subject heading “Christianity,” and 29 under “Judaism.” While I’m sure there is some overlap, there were 84 titles under “Bible.” In case you were wondering, “Islam” returned 32 titles and “Koran” returned but a single title. My search returned no subject match for “Quran.” Overlap or not, I’m reasonably these findings do not represent the whole of their “Judeo-Christian” or Islamic collections. But they likely represent the approximate ratio of “Judeo-Christian” books to Muslim books narrowly defined. Library resources reflecting the broader “Judeo-Christian” culture, like say, most books on philosophy, art and literature, certainly far outnumber those on Islamic culture by a large margin.
Not knowing the demographics of Craven’s student body and facility and being too lazy to find out, I have no idea how many resources in each category are appropriate. In addition, while Jones claims to want to balance the books (as it were) so that the “Judeo-Christian” tradition isn’t slighted, it seems that he forgot to ask the Jewish community to help in the effort.
Jones told WITN he wrote a letter in response to the grant to a local Christian organization, asking for them to provide an equal number of Judeo-Christians tradition items to offset the new Islamic tradition books in the library’s collection.
While I don’t really know if Rep. Jones did as much research into this as I have, I’d bet my one of my Qurans that he didn’t. But still, according to Jones, he has nothing against Muslims. As he said, “Keith Ellison from Minnesota is a friend of mine and he’s a Muslim.”
Via Think Progress