Beginning this Friday, Muslim students at Duke University will be allowed to chant the Muslim Call to Prayer at the university’s inter-denominational chapel, WRAL (Raleigh) is reporting.
The Muslim Call to Prayer, or Adhan, is sounded five times per day in places with heavy Muslim populations, both via TV and radio and over loudspeakers. It’s only broadcast publicly in a few communities in the United States.
At Duke, the Call to Prayer will only be chanted on Friday afternoons at 1:00 P.M., “moderately amplified” from the chapel’s bell tower, and will then be followed by a Jummah; that is, a prayer service, according to Huffington Post.
Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life, told Duke Today that the chapel’s decision to allow the Call to Prayer represents the university’s desire to embrace all religions.
“This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission. It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”
Duke Muslim chaplain Imam Adeel Zeb echoed Ms. Sapp’s belief that the Call to Prayer represents a step forward in understanding between religions.
“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. The collective Muslim community is truly grateful and excited about Duke’s intentionality toward religious and cultural diversity.”
Although the response to the decision to allow the Call to Prayer has been “overwhelmingly positive,” according to Omid Safi, director at Duke’s Islamic Studies Center, not everyone is happy about it. In a column for Breitbart,Young America’s Foundation spokeswoman Ashley Pratte writes that she opposes the decision, citing what she sees as Duke’s history of promoting political correctness.
“Duke University has a long history of fostering political correctness and hypersensitivity, from Chick-Fil-A’s removal from campus, to hosting a the national Palestinian Solidarity Movement conference, and to canceling a pro-life event in their Women’s Center on campus.”
Currently, the chapel hosts an inter-denominational Christian service on Sunday mornings and a Catholic mass on Sunday evenings. Although not aligned with a specific faith tradition, the chapel is ostensibly a Christian structure with Christian iconography throughout, according to The Peoria Journal-Star. The Friday afternoon Jummah will be held in the chapel’s basement.
Do you believe Duke University is sending the wrong message by allowing the Muslim Call to Prayer to be broadcast from its chapel? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Peoria Journal-Star]