Middle East studies in the News
Muslim Call to Prayer Will Now Be Heard At Duke University On Fridays [incl. Omid Safi]
by Nina Bourne
The call to prayer or Adhan will ring through the air each Friday at 1 p.m from the Duke Chapel bell tower, with the first chant occurring on Friday, January 16th. The Adhan will first be sung in Arabic with an English version to follow.
The Adhan is the call to prayer that marks the start of Muslim prayer services. The weekly chant will be called by members of the Duke Muslim Students Association. The three minute chant will precede the Jummah prayer services in the basement of the chapel and is open to all who would like to attend.
"The Adhan is the call to prayer that brings Muslims back to their purpose in life, which is to worship God and serves as a reminder to serve our brothers and sisters in humanity. The collective Muslim community is truly grateful and excited about Duke's intentionality toward religious and cultural diversity," said Imam Adeel Zeb, Duke's Muslim chaplain.
The chapel's associate dean for religious life, Christy Lorh Sapp told Duke Today, "This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke's mission. It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation."
The Huffington Post contacted Duke's Islamic Studies Center director, Omid Safi, who wrote in an email "Almost everyone that has written it has celebrated it as a sign of Duke Univeristy's commitment to creating a welcoming and pluralistic community. We see it as a sign of including our diversity – yes, including our religious diversity – in the public arena. We have over 700 Muslim members of the Duke community, and this is a day to be seen – and, yes, heard. It is a validating experience to tell one another that we can and do co-exist not by denying our particularity, but through them. There is room at Duke for Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus. Buddhists, Sikhs, atheists, agnostics…people of every faith and no faith."
The Duke Chapel offers students the ability to worship and celebrate their faith with services or events offered regularly. Adding the faith of Muslim students to the list is sure to them feel even more included in campus life and like a respected part of the Duke University communty.
The members of the Muslim Student Association at Duke University created a Facebook event to notify their fellow students of the inclusion of the Adhan to the weekly prayer service. The response from students seems to be positive as one post on the event page said, "Salaams. Such great news, it's hard to believe! Could someone record this brilliance for us, the alumni?"Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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