by CARL ERNST  [forthcoming in MIDDLE EAST STUDIES ASSOCIATION BULLETIN]

Everyone knows that the work of scholars in America is often considered to be irrelevant to the real issues of life. According to the mild anti-intellectualism that seems to be an endemic feature of American culture, anything that is “academic” is automatically impractical, complex, and impenetrable – in short, it is bad. This is a little hard for professors to live with; no one likes being called a pointy-headed intellectual or an egghead. The very skills and specializations that are the keys to academic success can be seen by the public as defects that remove scholars from the sphere of ordinary existence and disqualify their pronouncements. READ MORE

Carl Ernst, UNC Chapel Hill Professor of Religious Studies, is a specialist in Islamic studies, with a focus on West and South Asia. He is co-director with Professor of Sociology Charles Kurzman of UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations

FEBRUARY 29, 2012:

“The scale of homegrown Muslim-American terrorism in 2011 does not appear to have corroborated the warnings issued by government officials early in the year,” says a new study by Charles Kurzman (pictured), Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and published by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security — a project of Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International (Research Triangle Institute International).

The report, “Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9-11,” issued on Feb. 8, 2012,  is the third annual report on Muslim American terrorism suspects and perpetrators published by the Center.

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by JEN’NAN GHAZAL READ and MEGAN M. REYNOLDS for JOURNAL OF HEALTH AND BEHAVIOR (MARCH 2012 ISSUE) online on FEBRUARY 16, 2012:  

Abstract: This article draws on theories of gender inequality and immigrant health to hypothesize differences among the largest immigrant population, Mexicans, and a lesser known population of Middle Easterners. Using data from the 2000-2007 National Health Interview Surveys, we compare health outcomes among immigrants to those among U.S.-born whites and assess gender differences within each group. We find an immigrant story and a gender story. Mexican and Middle Eastern immigrants are healthier than U.S.-born whites, and men report better health than women regardless of nativity or ethnicity. We identify utilization of health care as a primary mechanism that contributes to both patterns. Immigrants are less likely than U.S.-born whites to interact with the health care system, and women are more likely to do so than men. Thus, immigrant and gender health disparities may partly reflect knowledge of health status rather than actual health. FULL TEXT

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by CHARLES KURZMAN for FOREIGN POLICY on FEBRUARY 10, 2012:

Elections in Egypt, and throughout the Arab Spring, pose a classic dilemma of political theory: Do you support democracy, even if it means sacrificing some civil rights? Or do you support rights, even if it means stifling democracy? FULL ARTICLE

Charles Kurzman is a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of “The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists” (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is also co-director, with professor of religious studies Carl Ernst, of  UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations

SOPHIA, Volume 51, Number 1 (2012), 139-141, DOI: 10.1007/s11841-011-0293-xReview of Amyn B. Sajoo (ed.), A Companion to Muslim Ethics I.B. Tauris in Conjunction with the Institute of Ismaili Studies; London & New York, 2010, ISBN: 978-1848855953, hb, 256pp.Bruce B. Lawrence, January 20, 2012.

Bruce Lawrence is an emeritus professor of Islamic studies at Duke University. In Fall 2012 he will be teaching as an adjunct professor in Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University in Istanbul, Turkey.