Duke University reverses decision on weekly call to prayer for Muslims after severe push-back

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Duke University has reversed a decision to broadcast weekly calls to prayer for Muslims from the campus chapel bell tower — the initial decision a result of “a larger commitment to religious pluralism.”

According to a statement from spokesman Michael Schoenfeld, the university changed its position because the effort to “unify was not having the intended effect,” CNN reported.

That’s one take on events.

Another is to say the initial decision led to a wave of criticism being directed at the school, beginning with Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, who called on donors to withhold support over the decision to allow the adhan.

Duke’s Muslim chaplain, Imam Adeel Zeb, said 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.”

Duke University was founded by Methodists and Quakers in the 19th century.

At least one critic of the reversal attributed it to “whiny Christians,” as seen on Twitter:

“I am glad to hear that Duke University reversed its decision to allow the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast from its chapel bell tower,” the younger Graham said in a comment on Facebook. “They made the right decision!”

There are more than 700 Muslims students at Duke, according to CNN, and as a result of the reversal, these students will gather on the quadrangle outside the Chapel before moving to its regular location for prayers.

“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” Schoenfeld said.

Fox News reported on the reversal, to include student reactions:

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Tom Tillison

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