The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Offcials Back Local Arab and Muslim Groups

While the University has been free of formal reports of serious verbal and physical assaults on Muslim and Arab students, the Office of Minority Affairs is trying to start dialogue between racial and religious groups to prevent hateful acts that have occurred across the country.

Many of the suspected terrorists associated with the attacks are of Arab descent or are members of the Muslim faith, including Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the attacks.

When that news was made public, hate crimes occurred across the country, including bomb threats to Islamic mosques as close to home as Raleigh.

As a result of the backlash, Archie Ervin, director of UNC's Office of Minority Affairs, said Monday that his office is ready to help members of the targeted groups at the University, even though it has not dealt with the groups much in the past.

Ervin said Chancellor James Moeser's office has been in touch with members of the Muslim Student Association and the UNC Arab Club in case either organization has concerns.

"We as a university community must remember that we value everyone in our community," Ervin said. "We are a community of enlightened people, I hope."

Ervin said he used his lunch break Tuesday to meet with leaders of several different faiths from Chapel Hill and Carrboro to bring the groups together and start a dialogue between them.

"We really want to find a way to make connections with people who want to be connected with," Ervin said.

Ervin said Tuesday's meeting was a success and that a similar meeting with student religious leaders is in the works.

Nadia Siddiqui, president of MSA, said she would like to work with the Office of Minority Affairs to help educate the community about Islam. Siddiqui said she contacted the chancellor's office last week after hateful flyers directed toward Muslims were posted in Venable Hall and that his staff was supportive.

"The root of everything is ignorance," she said. "People don't know what Islam is."

The University Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023