Duke Recants, Cancels Muslim Call to Prayer from Chapel

Duke University has abandoned its plan to transform the bell tower on the Methodist school’s neo-gothic cathedral into a minaret where the Muslim call to prayer was to be publicly broadcast.

“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” university spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said in a statement. “However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”

The first adhan, or call to prayer, had been scheduled to be broadcast on Jan. 16. University officials said, the Islamic chant, which includes the words “Allahu Akbar” would have been “moderately amplified” — in both English and Arabic.

However, the decision brought a firestorm of national criticism from a number of high profile leaders including Franklin Graham, the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham.

“This is a Methodist school and the money for that chapel was given by Christian people over the years so that the student body would have a place to worship the God of the Bible,” Graham told me in a telephone interview.

He had called for university donors to pull their funding – (and I suspect that had something to do with Duke’s decision.)

Instead, the prayers will be moved to outside the chapel.

By Todd Starnes – Townhall.com –

Franklin Graham urges financial revolt against Duke University

RALEIGH, N.C.(AP) – Duke University says it will hold a weekly call-to-prayer chant for Muslims from the bell tower at its famous chapel, a move that has drawn the ire of evangelist Franklin Graham.

The school said in a news release that members of the school’s Muslim Students Association will recite the call lasting about three minutes from the bell tower, and that it will be moderately amplified. The call to prayer coincides with the group’s prayer service in the chapel.

The chapel’s associate dean for religious life, Christy Lohr Sapp, says the move shows the school’s commitment to religious pluralism. The university was founded by Methodists and Quakers and its divinity school has historically been connected to the United Methodist Church.

Graham urged Duke alumni to withhold support because of violence against Christians that he attributed to Muslims.

From One News Now –

Franklin Graham: America’s ‘Culture of Death’: ‘Sinful, Godless Worldview Rejects Christ’

Reverend Franklin Graham, son of world renowned evangelical preacher Billy Graham, said that America is increasingly embracing a “culture of death” that echoes what has occurred in Europe, and which stems from a “sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ.”

A further problem in America, he added, is that “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

“In places like Europe, where Christianity has been in decline as the deceptive forces of secularism and materialism have spread across the continent, it’s not surprising to find the practice of euthanasia so entrenched,” said Rev. Graham in a commentary for the January issue of Decision magazine. “Earlier this year, Belgium became the first country in the world to allow child euthanasia with no age limit.”

“I’m concerned that America is not far behind,” said Rev. Graham, who heads the Billy Graham Evangelical Association. “The euthanasia movement—disguised now as ‘death with dignity’—is gaining ground in a number of states. And for every 1,000 live births in the United States, 219 pregnancies end with a murdered child, through abortion.”

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that this rise in the culture of death in our own country coincides with the embrace of an immoral, sinful, godless worldview that rejects Christ,” he said. “Christianity is constantly under siege from the halls of government and education, which seek to suppress any public expressions of faith.”

In addition to the push for euthanasia — the deliberate murder of the terminally sick, handicapped, elderly, or mentally ill – Reverend Graham noted that the social and entertainment culture seems fixated on death and gore.

Football used to be the dominant choice on television on Sunday evenings in the fall and winter but today, for example, 17 million people skipped the football game to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead, a series about zombies (the walking dead) hunting and eating people.

A few weeks after that premiere on Oct. 12, “nearly 15 million people turned in to yet another episode, easily surpassing that night’s matchup” between the Broncos and the Chiefs, said Rev. Graham.

“That program is just one of numerous television programs that have garnered tremendous followings by fixating on gore and death,” he said. “At least half a dozen prime time shows are strangely enamored and captivated by it. These shows, when combined with hugely popular video games like Mortal Kombat, demonstrate how obsessed with death our culture has become.”

By Michael W. Chapman – CNS News –