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Duke reverses decision allowing Muslim call to prayer from campus chapel

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posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 05:50 AM
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Duke University, in a gesture of unity, had planned to allow a "moderately amplified" call to prayer on Fridays at 1pm from the Chapel tower. which, by the way rings the bells every Sunday as a call to prayer for Christians.


Graham, son of famed Christian evangelist Rev. Billy Graham and president of his father's namesake ministry, launched an online campaign earlier this week to convince university officials to cancel their plans. He even urged "donors and alumni to withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed."

One of Graham’s Facebook posts reads: "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." [Source]

With pressure like this, and I believe some threats, they have now reversed this decision, citing security and safety concerns. Pressure from people like some Reverend Franklin, who many are describing as the "American Taliban" and "someone who would be comfortable being part of a group such as al Qaeda or ISIS.."


“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.” [Source]

And of course, FoxNews was right there weighing in too. Outrage.

Duke's Call To Prayer And Fox News' Call For Outrage

Co-host Brian Kilmeade consoled Duke's Muslim community by saying, "If you do want to pray at the right time, you can get a watch."

Wow. Seriously?



So, anyway, security concerns and safety threats and the loss of contributions won our over the potential good.


Neither the Durham, North Carolina, school nor the local FBI office, which was made aware of the situation at Duke, would specify details of these concerns, but Michael J. Schoenfeld, the university's vice president of public affairs, said the number and tone of the calls were "pretty loud and nasty." [Source]

The 700 Mulsim studenbts who attend Duke will still hold the Friday at 1pm call to prayer, but just not have the call amplified and won't do it at the chapel.


The university had planned to allow the Muslim call to prayer to be “moderately amplified” from the bell tower inside the campus chapel. But Graham, as well as other religious conservatives, immediately berated the idea, with Graham saying on his Facebook page that Duke alumni and donors should stop giving the school money unless the event was scuttled.

“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,” Graham wrote.

[Source]


Some lively and colorful commentary from TYT.

Duke’s Craven Cave to Islamophobia

Back on Facebook, Franklin Graham was celebrating. Meanwhile, the Muslim community of Duke kept moving forward. After prayers, they enjoyed pizza in the chapel basement. (The door was guarded by a police officer). I asked Zeb what he would say if he could speak with Graham. The imam looked tired, but he smiled, and endorsed responding to hatred with acts of kindness. “I’d love to give Franklin Graham a hug.”


Yeah to Islamophobia or to no-donorphobia...same thing. However, the reversal didn't stop either the prayer or the call. The call just wasn't from the chapel. It didn't stop anything or silence anyone in the end.

Duke's Downsized Call to Prayer Draws Hundreds in Support of School's Muslims

Muslim call to prayer sounds at Duke University, but not from chapel tower

It was a well-intentioned gesture that turned into a debate and then became the potential to become dangerous. Amazing how things escalate and how almost nothing anymore can be just a good thing without debate and hate or anger or division.

i know for a fact that many here will welcome this reversal as a victory. I don't call it one though. I just call it sad.


edit on 1/17/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



+14 more 
posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:17 AM
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What a load of sensationalist bollicks.

I'm glad they aren't allowing the amplified call. The west was Christian first and we need to stop the creeping of Islam. Its spreading its tentacles everywhere.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:24 AM
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a reply to: markosity1973
Yes let's be proud of the forcible violent conversion of the west by a middle eastern religion, these Muslims can take a hike!
edit on 17-1-2015 by WilsonWilson because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:27 AM
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originally posted by: markosity1973
What a load of sensationalist bollicks.

I'm glad they aren't allowing the amplified call. The west was Christian first and we need to stop the creeping of Islam. Its spreading its tentacles everywhere.


No it wasn't. The west belonged to Native Americans first. You killed all of them to instill your Christianity.

And regardless, there is the separation of Church & State within the US and the (now obvious lie) that we are supposed to be living in religious pluralism. Not only that, but be proud of it.

Sad that one of the institutions that's supposed to held to a higher standard, a University, would cave to a few phone calls from some bigots.

~Tenth
edit on 1/17/2015 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:30 AM
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originally posted by: markosity1973
What a load of sensationalist bollicks.

I'm glad they aren't allowing the amplified call. The west was Christian first and we need to stop the creeping of Islam. Its spreading its tentacles everywhere.

Christian first? Christian? So how far back are you going here...to the point of your comfort zone?

Also, for the record, from one of the OP sources....


Here’s how the story played out: Christy Lohr Sapp, the Associate Dean for Religious Life at Duke, approached Imam Adeel Zeb, the school’s Muslim chaplain, and suggested that the Muslim community could issue their call-to-prayer from the chapel tower on Fridays.

This wasn’t some rogue outsider handing the chapel over to heathens. Lohr Sapp teaches theology at Duke’s Divinity School and is on the chapel staff. No one foresaw any backlash. Lohr Sapp published a glowing op-ed in the News & Observer about “this small token of welcome” that would “provide a platform” for “a voice that challenges media stereotypes of Muslims, a voice of wisdom, a voice [of] prayer and a voice of peace.

edit on 1/17/2015 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:32 AM
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a reply to: markosity1973

The west was Christian first? No it wasn't.

Second line. And your post isn't all correct. Others can easily say the same thing about Christianity. I know the Africans do.
edit on 17-1-2015 by cenpuppie because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:43 AM
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originally posted by: tothetenthpower

originally posted by: markosity1973
What a load of sensationalist bollicks.

I'm glad they aren't allowing the amplified call. The west was Christian first and we need to stop the creeping of Islam. Its spreading its tentacles everywhere.


No it wasn't. The west belonged to Native Americans first. You killed all of them to instill your Christianity.

Hypocrisy at it's finest.

And regardless, there is the separation of Church & State within the US and the (now obvious lie) that we are supposed to be living in religious pluralism. Not only that, but be proud of it.

Sad that one of the institutions that's supposed to held to a higher standard, a University, would cave to a few phone calls from some bigots.

~Tenth


True that be, but the society we are today was founded on Christianity, for better or for worse as the case is if you are native of anywhere the colonies went.

I would be completely supportive of banning the church bells too fyi.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:45 AM
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a reply to: markosity1973

No it wasn't founded on Christianity. The whole point of the USA was a society that lived NOT under the rule of religion, but under the rule of the individuals within that state or nation.

It's all quite beautiful really once you see the nuance. Sure, they've convinced enough people with revisionist history of the opposite, but that's just clever propaganda.



I would be completely supportive of banning the church bells too fyi.


Me too Sir, me too. I'm only supporting the Muslims rights to do so, based on the fact that they allow the Christians to do it too.

~Tenth


edit on 1/17/2015 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 06:59 AM
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originally posted by: tothetenthpower


I would be completely supportive of banning the church bells too fyi.


Me too Sir, me too. I'm only supporting the Muslims rights to do so, based on the fact that they allow the Christians to do it too.

~Tenth


Duke has a Divinity School with lots of interfaith components and outreach. There's even a Duke Islamic Studies Center with a variety of courses on Islam. This gesture was I'm sure meant as a gesture of friendship and healing. Leave it to loudmouths to focus it back to hate and fear.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:10 AM
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DUKE was going to allow it because they thought it would be unifying and good for the campus. It was shown to be a blunder and they reversed their decision, which was a smart thing to do. There is no need for religion ... ANY religion ... to be shoved in the faces or ears of others, especially in a 'captive audience' situation like a college campus. However, considering that Duke is a METHODIST affiliated university, it would be understandable if they wish to keep with that METHODIST slant and affiliation.

edit on 1/17/2015 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)


+2 more 
posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:10 AM
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Duke is a private university, that was founded by Methodists. They don't have to appease the Muslims if they don't want to.
My guess was that the alumni called and said oh hell no.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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a reply to: Hoosierdaddy71
No one was forcing them to appease anyone.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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The political correctness of the Right selectively applying the Constitution since 1787.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:15 AM
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a reply to: ~Lucidity

I didn't say force either. But I did say private and alumni.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:15 AM
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originally posted by: Kali74
The political correctness of the Right selectively applying the Constitution since 1787.

How is not officially having the Muslim call to prayer at a Methodist University 'selectively applying the Constitution'??



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:17 AM
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Are religious run universities common in America?



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:18 AM
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a reply to: FlyersFan

Duke University can do whatever it wants, it's the people that were outraged that I'm referring to. Freedom of Religion seems to mean to the Right, Freedom to be Christian.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:19 AM
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originally posted by: WilsonWilson
Are religious run universities common in America?


Very common



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:23 AM
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originally posted by: FlyersFan
DUKE was going to allow it because they thought it would be unifying and good for the campus. It was shown to be a blunder and they reversed their decision, which was a smart thing to do. There is no need for religion ... ANY religion ... to be shoved in the faces or ears of others, especially in a 'captive audience' situation like a college campus. However, considering that Duke is a METHODIST affiliated university, it would be understandable if they wish to keep with that METHODIST slant and affiliation.

Maybe so but times, economic realities, and the broadly diverse student base have changed.


Like the overwhelming majority of academic institutions, private and public, Duke has gradually abandoned any pretensions to a specific religious identity. It embraces instead, in Sapp’s words, “a larger commitment to religious pluralism,” one that is “at the heart of Duke’s mission and connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.” Duke, she says, is committed to letting “each religious group on campus express itself in its own way.”

The obvious question is whether that commitment has any limit short of a group’s constituting a disturbance to the campus learning environment or posing a threat to public safety. It is difficult to think of one. If each religion practiced on campus has equal potential to “enhance the community” and “contribute to Duke’s motto of eruditio et religio,” there is no principled reason to allow the chapel bells to sound for Sunday-morning Mass but to disallow the adhan; they are both merely traditional ways of summoning the faithful to worship, between which the school has no grounds to distinguish.

Which is why the objections of such people as the Reverend Franklin Graham — a North Carolina native, who issued a scathing response to the decision on Facebook — will fall on unhearing ears. Within the intellectual framework to which Duke has committed itself, discriminating among faiths and their expressions is largely indefensible. Duke’s Religious Pluralism, or Preference


Too bad the predicition in this article about falling on unhearing ears didn't quite pan out. But I think it was more the threat or fear of violent blowback stirred up and focused on by Graham and maybe the economic consequences that made them reverse the decision about broadcasting the call to prayer. There's still a Muslim prayer every Friday. Has been for quite some time now.



posted on Jan, 17 2015 @ 07:26 AM
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originally posted by: Hoosierdaddy71
a reply to: ~Lucidity

I didn't say force either. But I did say private and alumni.

No. You didn't say forced...I did. And i didn't imply you said force.

i simply said no one forced them to "appease' anyone.

And again, for the record, from one of the OP sources....


Here’s how the story played out: Christy Lohr Sapp, the Associate Dean for Religious Life at Duke, approached Imam Adeel Zeb, the school’s Muslim chaplain, and suggested that the Muslim community could issue their call-to-prayer from the chapel tower on Fridays.

This wasn’t some rogue outsider handing the chapel over to heathens. Lohr Sapp teaches theology at Duke’s Divinity School and is on the chapel staff. No one foresaw any backlash. Lohr Sapp published a glowing op-ed in the News & Observer about “this small token of welcome” that would “provide a platform” for “a voice that challenges media stereotypes of Muslims, a voice of wisdom, a voice [of] prayer and a voice of peace.



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