Los Angeles City Schools Pull Copies of Quran from Shelves

February 7, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On February 7, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "Los Angeles city school officials have pulled nearly 300 translations of the Koran from school libraries after learning that commentary in the books was derogatory toward Jews... Copies of 'The Meaning of the Holy Quran' were donated in December to the Los Angeles Unified School District by a local Muslim foundation, said Jim Konantz, director of information technology for the district. Konantz said the books, offered as a goodwill gesture in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, were distributed to the schools last week without the usual content review. The reasons for skipping the review were unclear, but the donor was known as a supportive community member... On Monday, Konantz received a complaint from a history teacher who concluded some of the book's footnotes were anti-Semitic... 'It's not an issue of whether the Koran should be available in the library,' Konantz said. 'It's like any other research volume. But these interpretations are certainly in question'... Konantz said he is convening a committee to review the books. He said the panel will include history teachers, representatives from the Jewish community, and the donor, the Omar Ibn Khattab Foundation... USC constitutional law professor Erwin Chemerinsky said it would be discriminatory for L.A. Unified to stock books 'written by Jews or Christians that express criticisms of other religions,' but exclude books containing criticisms by Muslims."