Accessibility links

Breaking News

Duke University Cancels Plan for Muslim Call to Prayer

FILE - The campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Duke University in the U.S. state of North Carolina has canceled a plan to issue a weekly call to prayer for Muslims from the bell tower of its chapel.

The university had said that Muslim students could sound the call to prayer on Fridays from the tower at moderate volume for up to three minutes.

The plan, however, sparked controversy, with North Carolina evangelist Franklin Graham calling on Duke alumni to withhold support for the school until the decision was reversed. Graham is the son of famous U.S. evangelist Billy Graham.

On Thursday, the university said students would instead gather on the quadrangle outside the chapel before moving to the basement of the chapel for prayers.

Muslim students have been meeting in the chapel basement for the past two years.

Duke has nearly 15,000 students. Seven hundred identify themselves as Muslim.