Education

After Controversy Over Class On Terrorism, UNC Now Hosting 9/11 Exhibit

(Photo: Getty Images)

Emma Colton Deputy Editor

After causing national outcry for offering a course on 9/11 from the radical Muslim perspective, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is now hosting a Sept. 11 memorial exhibit to honor fallen firefighters.

The mobile 9/11 exhibit, called the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, will visit Chapel Hill on Sept. 22, giving students guided tours of artifacts and depictions of the attack.

Named in honor of firefighter Stephen Stiller who died while responding in 2001, the memorial was requested by the College Republicans, according to Campus Reform, after the university caused an uproar for having a course called “Literature of 9/11” — a freshmen level class that studies 9/11 from the terrorists’ perspective.

“Our concern over the ‘Literature of 9/11′ course and its one-sided portrayal of the perspectives surrounding the 9/11 terrorist attacks has not abated. We continue to feel that this class is not even-handed scholarship and therefore cannot claim to truly be educating students about this issue, but rather indoctrinating them with a viewpoint that paints this nation in a negative light and is sympathetic to the terrorists’ perspectives,” Chapel Hill student Frank Pray wrote to UNC Chancellor Carol Folt.

Created by Frank Siller, Stephen’s brother, the exhibit was granted permission to visit the school and will show students — who were exceedingly young when the attacks occurred — the horrors of that day, remembering and honoring the Americans, and responders who lost their lives.

Tours of the 53-foot tractor trailer which unfolds into a 1,000 square foot exhibit will be given by FDNY Battalion Chief Jack Oehm, whose company lost a third of its crew on the devastating day.

The exhibit was granted permission to visit the campus by Chancellor Folt. (RELATED: VIDEO: College Students Blame Bush For 9/11)

Jim Gregory, Chapel Hill spokesman, however, told Campus Reform that the decision to allow the mobile memorial was not at all influenced by the public’s negative reaction to the class. Gregory instead said the memorial is a “worthwhile endeavor” that honors Americans, while educating students.

“The purpose of the 9/11 Mobile Exhibit is to remind Americans about the heroic efforts of first responders the day we were attacked, and to educate schoolchildren who were either very young, or not yet born in 2001, about the attacks,” the organization said in a press release.

The Literature of 9/11 class, taught by Neel Abuja, is still offered at the public university and currently in session.

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