Lots of chatter about Duke University’s revoking its decision to allow Muslim students to use the University Chapel to call fellow believers to prayer:
Days after announcing that a Muslim call to prayer would echo from its historic chapel tower, Duke University changed course Thursday following a flurry of calls and emails objecting to the plan.
Instead, Muslims will gather for their call to prayer in a grassy area near the 210-foot gothic tower before heading into a room in Duke Chapel for their weekly prayer service. The university had previously said a moderately amplified call to prayer would be read by members of the Muslim Students Association from the tower for about three minutes each Friday.
Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s vice president for public affairs and government relations, said it would be up to the students if they want to use some sort of amplification.
The original plan drew the ire of evangelist Franklin Graham, who urged Duke alumni to withhold support because of violence against Christians that he attributed to Muslims. Schoenfeld said emails and calls came from alumni and others in the community.
It used to be that Methodists were some of those “hot” Protestants who met daily in small groups and employed all sorts of methods to cultivate holiness. Now they sponsor universities where Gothic structures occasionally hold religious services of some kind.
After the events in Paris last week, why wouldn’t we want to happen to Muslims what happened to Methodists? After all, the university only approved one call to prayer on one day of the week. Real Islam has five calls to prayer every day, a circumstance that could well disrupt classes and sleep at Duke. But if Muslim students are willing to settle for one call on one day, wouldn’t that make them as compliant and unthreatening as the United Methodist Church?
We missed a real opportunity here, people.