Following intense backlash after allowing a weekly Muslim call to prayer at Duke University, the college is now reversing its decision.
“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”
Originally, the call to prayer was to be broadcast from atop Dukes Chapel Bell Tower starting tomorrow, January 16 at 1 p.m..
Instead, Muslims will be able to gather outside the chapel before moving their services to the normal place of worship, the chapel basement. Duke is now receiving backlash from the Muslim community.
“It’s a slap in the face to Muslims,” said Khalilah Sabra of the Muslim American Society.
WNCN reports that following the original decision, Duke’s Facebook page was bombarded with angry comments.
One commenter said they had “totally lost respect for Duke University.”
Another said that the university is a “… center for political correctness,” and that it’s “just plain bizarre that [they are] going to do an Islamic call to prayer.”
The Reverend Franklin Graham urged the university to resist the Muslim call to prayer because of Muslim violence toward Christians.
Graham told WNCN, “First of all, this chapel was given by donors, Methodists, from across this state and other areas, so that there would be a Christian chapel on the campus so that the students would have a place to worship the God of the Bible.”
Graham further made his point by posting a statement on Facebook where he said, “”As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism. I call on the donors and alumni to withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed.”
Only minutes after Duke canceled the call to prayer, Graham posted on Facebook that he is glad about Duke’s decision, writing, “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. They made the right decision!”