A mere 24 hours after Reverend Franklin Graham called on Duke University to abandon their plan to allow the Muslim Student Association to broadcast a weekly call to prayer from Duke chapel tower, the institution conceded, stating that Duke was “committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant environment”, but that their efforts to unify through Muslim prayer were “not having the intended effect.”
Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association had intended to hold their three-minute weekly call to worship, known as adhan or azan, at the chapel tower this afternoon; WRAL reports suggest that it will now take place in the quad outside of the chapel.
Posting on his Facebook page this morning, Reverend Graham wrote:
“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 towers. They made the right decision.”
Reverend Graham also spoke with vehemence during an interview with WRAL.com yesterday, commenting: “No one is saying they can’t worship their God, but you’re taking that bell tower, and you’re turning it into a Muslim minaret. I think it’s a slap at the Christian faith.”
“Duke University are the ones who owe the apology to Christian students and the ones who donated money for the chapel,” he said.
Writing on Facebook on 14th January, Reverend Graham protested against the Muslim prayers owing to their inclusion of the words ‘Allahu Akbar’, the words that “terrorists shouted at the onset of last week’s massacre in Paris.”
Graham also suggested that Duke’s proposed policy promotes a religion in whose name followers are “raping, butchering and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law.”
Duke’s decision to allow Muslim worship to take place at the chapel was an attempt to cultivate “religious pluralism”, according to the chapel’s associate dean Christy Lohr Sapp. Yesterday, Sapp defended the policy, saying that “at Duke University, the Muslim community represents a strikingly different face of Islam than is seen on the nightly news: one that is peaceful and prayerful.”
Reverend Graham, son of globally-recognised evangelical pastor Billy Graham, is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association (BGEA) in North Carolina, USA.