Duke Reverses Plan to Sound Muslim Call to Prayer From Chapel Bell Tower
UPDATE, 4:20p ET: Duke University has reversed its plan to sound the Muslim call-to-prayer from the Duke Chapel bell tower.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, said "it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect."
Original story below:
Duke University raised some eyebrows this week with an announcement that the university will sound the Muslim call to prayer on Fridays.
In an announcement, the university said the call to prayer, or the adhan, will last about three minutes and be "moderately amplified" from the chapel bell tower
"The adhan is the call to prayer that brings Muslims back to their purpose in life, which is to worship God and serves as a reminder to serve our brothers and sisters in humanity," said Imam Adeel Zeb, Muslim chaplain at Duke. “The collective Muslim community is truly grateful and excited about Duke’s intentionality toward religious and cultural diversity.”
“This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” added Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”
Rev. Franklin Graham voiced criticism of the university on Facebook, calling on Duke donors to withhold support until this policy is scrapped.
Steve Doocy discussed the call to prayer, which is scheduled to start tomorrow, this morning with Dr. Robert Jeffress, a pastor and Fox News contributor.
Jeffress disputed Duke's contention that the decision is in the name of "diversity," saying the university once canceled a pro-life event at its women's center.
"Those who cry loudest for tolerance are often the most intolerant when it comes to viewpoints they disagree with. This is a travesty coming from a school that was originally founded as a Christian school by Methodists and Quakers," said Jeffress.
Doocy asked whether the university will also devote time to "amplify" the Our Father for Christian students.
Jeffress called on Evangelical students at Duke to demand to recite John 3:16 on the loudspeakers.
"I wonder how far that request would go," Jeffress said.
He added that the First Amendment grants people the right to practice whatever religion they want to, but it does not "mandate that all religions get equal time."
Watch the full discussion above.