[Editor’s note: Everyone thought initially that it was public outrage that motivated Duke in its cancellation of the Muslim prayers. Instead, the article below suggests that Duke cancelled the prayers over the university’s concern about protecting Muslims. Yes, you read that right. And who did Duke think the Muslims needed protection from? From those who were “vitriolic” in their opposition to the call to prayer. The article follows.]
In the face of mounting controversy, Duke University reversed itself Thursday afternoon and announced it will not allow a Muslim call to prayer from its iconic chapel Friday . . .
“What began as something that was meant to be unifying was turning into something that was the opposite,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “It was clear we needed to reconsider.”
A Duke administrator had earlier touted the move as a way to promote religious inclusiveness at the school. But the university received hundreds of calls and emails, “many of which were quite vitriolic,” Schoenfeld said. “The level of vitriol in the responses was unlike any other controversy we have seen here in quite some time.”
There also were security concerns, Schoenfeld added.
Muslim community members will instead gather on the quadrangle outside the chapel and do the call to prayer, called the “adhan,” before moving to their regular location in the chapel basement for prayers. They have met there for the past several years. (Read more about the shocking reason Duke University reversed their decision HERE)