Duke University Cancels Muslim Call to Prayer From Its Famed Chapel


The Duke University Chapel on the campus in Durham, N.C. (Credit: Lance King/Getty Images)

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Duke University canceled plans Thursday to broadcast a weekly Muslim call to prayer from its famed chapel, a move that was originally intended to reflect the school’s commitment to religious pluralism but instead backfired.

“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”

The decision to cancel the plans was made Thursday in consultation with the university’s faith leadership, including the director of Muslim life, Schoenfeld said.

He said there were “credible concerns about safety and security,” but would not elaborate or discuss security measures.  After the initial Tuesday announcement about the call to prayer, Schoenfeld said the university received a large number of hateful statements online and over the phone, but said that alone was not why plans were changed.

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