RALEIGH, North Carolina – Duke University plans to 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 a prominent Christian evangelist.
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 with a microphone and speaker. The call to prayer coincides with the group’s prayer service in the chapel, which is identified by the school as a Christian church but also hosts Hindu services and has been used for Buddhist meditations.
The chapel’s associate dean for religious life, Christy Lohr Sapp, said the move shows the school’s commitment to religious pluralism. In a column written for the News and Observer in Raleigh, Lohr Sapp acknowledged the headlines generated by violence by extremists in ISIS, Boko Haram and al-Qaida, contrasting it to what’s happening on campus.