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Duke University reverses decision to sound Islamic call to prayer

Duke University reverses decision to sound Islamic call to prayer

Duke University has reversed a decision to sound “adhan”, which calls Muslims students to Friday prayers, from the Duke Chapel bell tower every Friday beginning January 16. In a statement from Duke University, the campus remains “committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant, and welcoming campus for all of its students.”





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Rod Gillis

Surfed, found this video link, a Roman Catholic Church in Belgium temporarily hosted Muslim prayers in their church, in the worship space, modifying the space on an ad hoc basis to do so. Interestingly, the sanctuary cross is highly visible from what I can see. Blessed are the peace makers.

Rod Gillis

PS: According to reports, Muslim Friday prayer is in the church basement. The Call to prayer was to be moved up to the bell tower. So what? That’s no different than putting a PSA on campus radio or driving around with a bull-horn on a truck, or putting a notice up on the church bulletin board. We have a parish church here that rents out its bell tower to a cell phone company. No, this appears not to be about sacred space; its about wedge politics.

During the cold war I once had some unhappy parishioners complain about an announcement in our pew leaflet pertaining to a peace and disarmament group. This is the same species controversy.

The program at the National Cathedral focused the issue differently; but I trust the staff there to know their context.

Rod Gillis

Man, its a long scroll to the end of this thread! There is very interesting article posted on Thinking Anglicans this morning. (link below). The author is Father Richard Peers, Anglican Priest and Executive Headteacher at Trinity, Lewisham school in the diocese of Southwark. This part of his post caught my eye after last evening’s back and forth here over Duke.

“At Trinity our Muslim and Hindu families have no problem with what we do. We have an Arabic school for Muslim families that meets here every Saturday. When our Muslim children want a prayer room we provide it. The current Head girl is a Muslim – one with a great devotion, as it happens, to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta – and Muslim pupils have travelled with us regularly to Taizé where we provide a tent for them to use for prayer, although they are also expected to join in the community prayer as well – so a mere 8 prayer sessions a day for them.”

I’m thinking, maybe we could take up a collection and send
“evangelist” Franklin Graham to this school for a sabbatical? Perhaps it might help him tweak up his Zen center?

Read the whole post here, or over at Thinking Anglicans.

Chaz Brooks

“Providing space” for Muslims to pray implicitly presumes that there isn’t space for them to pray in the worship of the Church. This is a statement of people who believe Islam and Christianity are fundamentally incompatible, which is quite the opposite of what the party line on this thread seems to be.

Rods Gillis

Don’t get the sense of “incompatibility” from Fr. Peers article. What I do get is a desire for some bridge building and generosity. Now that, it seems, is very different from Franklin Graham’s hysterical wedge politics. Someone needs to tell him that evangelists usually have good news to tell. No doubt a pointless exercise since most Fundies live in a world of pretzel logic. But hey, he’s on the national stage and cranking up his base.

Nick Porter

Try talking to some actual people rather than running to a poll. The more conservative denominations have plenty of millennials with young families. If TEC has the recent General Convention resolutions correct then why aren’t our membership numbers in the 10s of millions? What’s our average age of someone in the pew again?

Chaz Brooks

No one but no one doubts that Millennials generally espouse progressive values. The question is whether progressive values get young people in church. I just can’t see any evidence of that.

David Allen

Have you not heard, that’s how reputable religious researchers do business? Organizations such as Pew and Gallup actually speak to 100s and 1000s of folks; in this case real Millennials.

Ann Fontaine
David Allen

Duke was founded by Methodists, and its limestone chapel at the center of campus is used as a Christian church. But, as the dean of the chapel explained to reporters, the chapel also serves a “moderator” and “convener” for other faith groups on campus, including Muslims.

“Our aim is to live into a generous hospitality toward different traditions,” said Powery.

Chaz Brooks

Millennials need to be pandered to relentlessly if we want them in the Church.

Nick Porter

Whatever you say,David. Because there are no millennials who are traditional. All of them think like you right? Everyone who doesn’t are haters and hate mongers right?

David Allen

If they wait a couple more years they will be able to knock down the chapel and do that. The kids on campus today are Millennials and they are voting with their feet for none of the above when it comes to Christianity because they find Christians to be mean and unwelcoming do to their intolerance of others; mostly exhibited in the rampant homophobia and transphobia and situations such as this.

Nick Porter

Build an interfaith center. Problem solved.

Rod Gillis

Anne, thanks for this link. The earlier RNS feed was also informative. This particular situation is something of a frame through which to view similar current conflict over inter-faith and cultural tensions.

From the article in the link you provided, “First to show their support to the Muslim students on Friday were Duke Divinity School students who gathered on the lawn in large numbers.” God bless them!

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