9/11 protest
9/11 memorial light beamsReuters

The English department at the University of North Carolina has been blasted for "indoctrinating" students with unpatriotic thoughts that are supportive of Islamic extremism, according to the Times. "The Literature of 9/11 module" includes an analysis of the role of US foreign policy in inspiring anti-American sentiment.

Students on the course read a number of texts, including Poems from Guantanamo, a series of writings by inmates of the clandestine Cuban prison. However, right-wing students, including the on-campus Republican party, have accused the university of being un-American. They staged this weekend their own events to offer a pro-American view in response, including a two-day exhibition on the "horrors of the attacks" that will be manned by firefighters who saved lives in the twin towers, the Times reported.

"All of the readings in this course are one-sided and come from a viewpoint that portrays America as imperialist and wrong in its foreign policy," complained Frank Pray, 21, chairman of the Chapel Hill College Republicans. "It shows America in a very negative light. What is lacking is the perspective of a grieving widow who lost her husband in 9/11. Or the perspective of a fireman who ran into the building on 9/11, ran back out and watched it fall with his comrades still in it. That's unacceptable."

"Some fairly substantial donors are now speaking to the university," He added. "Depending on how this plays out, the university could find itself in hot water over this."

The dispute began two weeks ago after an outraged first-year student, who does not take the course, wrote a blog on controversial class, which has been running since 2010. National TV talk shows and newspaper columnists have since weighed in on the argument.

The university has defended the course, stating that its reading materials include the government report into the attacks and other texts that alluded to the suffering of those who lost family members and colleagues, the Times reported. "Carolina offers academic courses to challenge students — not advocate one viewpoint over another," a university spokesman said.