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How to Read the Qur'an

Religion scholar Carl Ernst says he has witnessed how much anxiety the existence of the Qur’an can cause among non-Muslims. Ernst, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, began studying the holy text of Islamic faith in the late 1960s. In 2002, he watched the uproar in the national media over UNC’s decision to make the Qur’an required reading for that year’s incoming freshman class. Ernst says the Qur’an, like any spiritual text, is open to interpretation and he has created a guide to help make the book more accessible. His new book is “How to Read the Qur’an” (UNC Press/2011). Ernst joins host Frank Stasio to talk about some select passages in the Qur’an and put them in historical context.

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.