University scraps Muslim prayer plan
All hell broke loose this week over the news that Duke University in North Carolina had agreed to allow Muslims to use its chapel bell tower, pictured above, for Friday calls to prayer.
Leading a charge of angry Christians – according to this report – was Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, who wrote on Facebook:
As Christianity is being excluded from the public square and followers of Islam are raping, butchering and beheading Christians, Jews and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law, Duke is promoting this in the name of religious pluralism. I call on the donors and alumni to withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed.
Graham’s message was shared nearly 60,000 times.
The issue proved so much of hot potato that the university quickly reversed its decision.
Said Michael Schoenfeld, Duke’s VP for Public Affairs and Government Relations:
Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students. However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.
Christy Lohr Sapp, the chapel’s associate dean for religious life, explained that the call – known as the adhan:
Connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation.
Responding to Graham’s Facebook post, Nancy Kain Walls wrote:
When did Christians end up being the bad guys! Political correctness is going to destroy this country. God help us.
And Cindee Parker chimed in:
I have a feeling that separation of church and state in this country only applies if its Christianity. Any other religion is free to do whatever they wish.
Merrie Spencer Rancourt wrote:
It is a CHAPEL not a mosque. Duke was founded as a Methodist university. If Muslims want to have a call to prayer, then they should purchase the land and build a tower, just like Methodists built the Chapel.
Speaking of “national trends in religious accommodation” and “political correctness”, The White House this week tried to explain why it has refused to use the term “radical Islam” in describing the Islamist terrorists responsible for last week’s Paris attacks and other acts of violence across the globe.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest, above, said the administration doesn’t want to legitimise those terrorists or the “warped” view of Islam they hold. Also, Earnest said, the phrase “radical Islam” simply is not an accurate way to describe the enemies of the US, France and other nations across the globe. In a tortuous statement he said:
I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position where I’m repeating the justification they have cited that I think is illegitimate. They had invoked Islam to justify their attacks. I think what I’m trying to do is to describe to you what happened and what they did. These individuals are terrorists … We have chosen not to use that label [of radical Islam] because it doesn’t seem to accurately describe what happened.
Other world leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, have used the phrase to describe
The mess people like Josh Earnest and even President Obama have landed themselves in over
Islamic terrorism semantics is dealt with rather well in this video:
Hat tip: Trevor Blake (White House report) and Antony Niall (YouTube video).