University scraps Muslim prayer plan

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 Islamist terrorists.

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).

19 responses to “University scraps Muslim prayer plan”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Does Frankiln Graham have evidence that Muslims at Duke University are in favour of the “raping, butchering and beheading (of) Christians, Jews and anyone who doesn’t submit to their Sharia Islamic law”? He may be correct for all I know, but those are pretty outrageous remarks. Still, a lot of Americans are somewhat paranoid about the “Islamic threat”:

  2. Paul Cook says:

    Oddly I am in NC at the moment. Due to jet lag 0500 I turned on the TV and was pleased to see the many evangelical stations. Praise be!
    I managed to hear that Paul wrote half the babble and Moses wrote a lot of the rest if it, and then that both were murderers both involved in a (hell of a ) lot of murders. I didn’t quite understand the rationale of that being ok as gawd wants you to have faith before I got a grip of myself & turned it off.

  3. Angela_K says:

    Something all religions do not like is competition from other cults as is evidenced Worldwide. The only time they seem to unite is when bashing us Atheists and Gays.

    Paul Cook. Satellite TV here in the UK is getting as bad as the USA, full of charismatic preachers making outrageous claims and asking for money pledges.

  4. sailor1031 says:

    Duke is a private university so that Church-State thing doesn’t apply. OTOH a potential donor & alumni boycott would deprive the school of a whole lot of income. Now that’s how to get the attention of a University corporation president in a hurry.

    It is also correct that Duke was founded as a methodist institution. Some fundie baptist schools will only admit christians of the right sect. They wouldn’t have a problem like this at all. The USA has a long way to go to get to where Europe is now; unfortunately many americans would think that a good thing!

  5. barriejohn says:

    Angela_K: As I said yesterday, I have been watching a bit of TBN on Freeview65. Even as an ex-evangelical some of it has been a real eyeopener to me. I don’t know how they decide who can broadcast on that network, as they all seem to have their own ideas – some of which are quite heretical. Joyce Meyer (whose plastic surgery seems to have gone disastrously wrong, but God no doubt had a lesson for her in that) dreams up her own doctrines (eg that Jesus ceased to be God when on the Cross, and was tortured in Hell by demons jumping up and down on his tummy until God told them to stop!) and tells her audience that if they pray about it they’ll have the same things revealed to them as well (why bother with the Bible at all?).

    No surprise to learn that you need to buy her CD and DVD collection to understand it all properly!

  6. AgentCormac says:

    Recipe for a better world:

    Take as many right-wing christian evangelists as you can find. Place in a confined space. Add as many radical muslims as possible. Season with a goodly helping of ultra-orthodox jews. Seal. Allow to simmer for a few days and then watch as it all comes to the boil. Wait until all signs of ranting, fighting and general mayhem have evaporated. Leave sealed for all eternity and enjoy the peace and quiet.

    Serves everybody.

  7. Stuart H. says:

    So is religious pluralism OK when Graham seriously asked the Gulf War task force to carry bibles, not aid, to Iraq, or when Samaritan’s Purse refuse to let Catholics use tents supplied to SP by a US Aid programme to shelter victims after a South American disaster unless they convert?
    Oh, that’s all right then.

  8. L.Long says:

    I’m with DUKE on this as ALL THE IMAGINARY friends sheeple should not be permitted to use the tower. To hell with the isLames and the xtians both.
    Who needs all that silly noise going on anyway. They don’t need any call to pray they all own watches or at least iPhones to remind them .

  9. Lon says:

    Religion rages at Duke U. Is religious pluralism okay? Not if religions have anything to say about it. Gawd help us? Gawd is the problem! LMFAO!!!

  10. dennis says:

    @AgentCormac AMEN Brother! but Pandora’s Box? I just can’t get away from the fairy lovers. They hound you into oblivion at least the muslims kill you and get it over.

  11. Caute says:

    This is great fun……..the pious at each others throats…such understanding care love and friendship. And try asking to conduct evensong or mass in a mosque….yeah right…that would work. The religious loons, fools, bigots, werewolves, hucksters, conmen and all the clerics, imams, preists pastors vicars cardinals bishops and mullahs are being shown up for what the really are. Keep it up boys, I am loving every step you take towards the eradication of your vile retarding divisive dogmas. The bottom line danger of religions is now being murderously played out on the streets of europe, the savannah of africa, the sandpits of the middle east, pakistan and many other places…..even china is struggling now…and the pope says that physical retalion to an insult is ok too. Religion—an abomination, a blight on humanity…..a disgrace.

  12. AgentCormac says:


    I’m guessing you live in the USA? At least here in the UK all we have to put up with (for the time being) is the odd crackpot street preacher rather than highly organised, multi-million dollar businesses built on serving up religion to the gullible masses with the aim of taking every last penny from their pockets. However, I’m sure that kind of full-on, underhanded swindling in the name of everlasting life (yeah, right!) is coming this way too. The sooner we are free from religion the sooner we can all move on and realise our true potential as a species.

  13. AgentCormac says:

    Hope that Raif Badawi’s torture might to go on?

  14. Rob Andrews says:

    RE: Recipe For a Better World
    Yeah that was good!

    Lissan al-Arab Dictionary: Islam is derived for the root word ‘istlama’.- submitt, surrender But another dirivative word is ‘salam’ meaning peace

    So do we get peace after we surrender? From the actions and words of many it seens so. A group of Muslims in a Texas town wants a Mosque built with tax money–the mayor won’t give in.—CNN Report

    Here’s a good website showing the malevalence of Islam itself.:

  15. Robster says:

    Here’s a big chance for the christians to prove their jesus/god is better than the one used by the muslims. The big tower could be used as a venue for a competition between Franklin’s christians and whatever muslim minority is floating about the campus. The jesus followers could roll out their big noisy bell for a clang, the muslims a noisy bearded bloke in a black robe making strange arabic noises. As for prizes, Team Franklin could offer the muslims a baby jesus cracker and some dealcoholised red wine for the tasty blood chaser, the muslims could offer the jesus brigade a pork sausage, perhaps.It’d be easy to determine a winner with a decibel meter or counting bums on pews. The winner gets to use the tower for their noisy religious nonsense, the loser gets to shut the F up and leave the normal people alone.

  16. Cali Ron says:

    Religion is the bane of mankind. A disease infecting the body of mankind. It’s a cancer growing inside mankind and someone needs to invent a cure and wipe it off the face of the earth. OK, it’s wishful thinking now, but you need a goal and wiping out religion is a noble one.

  17. Laura Roberts says:

    Just remember, folks, the #1 reason people give for abandoning religion is the stupid things done in its name. Even minor sectarian conflicts like this one are superb at generating stupid acts and statements. Thus whenever I read an article like this one, or someone like the Pope makes abhorrent comments about the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, I think: somewhere another atheist is born.

  18. barriejohn says:

    Allah is “a false demon god”:

    If you look elsewhere on the site you will see that in Fischer’s opinion Duke University are “inviting the demons of the abyss” onto their campus by allowing Muslim prayer!

  19. barriejohn says:

    And Glenn Beck is still prating about America’s “Judeo-Christian values”: