The chant, known as “adhan,” will resound from the Duke Chapel bell tower every Friday beginning Jan. 16, echoed by members of the Muslim Students Association, the university announced via Duke Today. The chant will sound for three minutes at a “moderately amplified” level to announce the Jummah prayer service, held Friday afternoons in the chapel basement.
The Adhan will be sung in Arabic, then followed by an English translation, according to a Facebook event announcing the call.
“This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke’s mission,” Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life, told Duke Today. “It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.”
The announcement comes one day after the White House clarified that their anti-terror summit would not cover acts of radical Islamic terror, having determined that those acts are only part of a greater War on Muslims.
The chapel that will broadcast the Islamic call to prayer also hosts events for Christian and Catholic groups on campus. Duke’s Muslim students pray at the chapel despite having their own Muslim Life at Duke center on campus. Jewish students, who comprise more than ten percent of the undergraduate and graduate student populations, hold events at the privately funded Freeman Center for Jewish Life located on campus.
For the private university’s 700+ Muslims, the decision is being praised as a sign of their acceptance into the Duke community.
Roughly 6,500 undergraduates and 8,300 graduate and professional students are enrolled in the prestigious private university that maintains “a historic affiliation with the Methodist Church.” The Methodist Church has publicly supported divestment, pulling pension investments from companies tied to Israel as a method to pressure Israel to cease settlement expansion.
In 2004, Duke University granted $50,000 in funding to the Palestine Solidarity Movement (PSM) to demonstrate on campus. The conference was so volatile that Commentary magazine announced in 2005 “The Intifada Comes to Duke.” Motivated by the PSM, award-winning student journalist Philip Kurian published an anti-Semitic op-ed in the student newspaper titled “The Jews.” Loaded with conspiracy theories, Kurian argued against what he termed Jewish “privilege,” writing,
What’s worst is that the Holocaust Industry’ uses its influence to stifle, not enhance, the Israeli-Palestinian debate, simultaneously belittling the real struggles for socioeconomic and political equality faced, most notably, by black Americans.
Richard Brodhead, whose decision it was to fund the PSM on campus, is the current president of the University.