By Anugrah Kumar
January 20, 2015
Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Duke University was only pretending to be inclusive by offering to allow Muslim students to have Muslim call to prayer in the chapel, challenging the school to also allow pro-life messages or criticism of homosexuality to show “true” inclusiveness.
“There’s nothing inclusive about Duke,” Carlson said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” morning show.
Duke University decided to cancel its Muslim call to prayer, which would have begun Friday, Jan. 16, after receiving public backlash and citing a threat to students. The call to prayer, known as an adhan, would have aired for three minutes every Friday, encouraging Muslim students to gather and attend a traditional prayer service in the chapel.
“Notice they’re not giving equal time to, say, evangelical pro-life messages,” Carlson added. “They’re not broadcasting those over the loudspeakers on the chapel. If you got in the middle of the Duke quad and read sections of the Bible that criticized homosexuality, you’d be dragged away by school security.”
The school was “under pressure from donors probably,” Carlson remarked, referring to the announcement about the cancellation of the call to prayer.
He said it was Duke Islamic studies professor Omid Safi who was pushing for Islamic prayers. He quoted a tweet from Safi, which read, “Saddened that external threats on our community detracts us from celebrating Muslim & Christians living together, honoring each other.”
Carlson then questioned why he didn’t include Jews in the tweet.
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, led the call against Duke, urging alumni and donors to stop supporting the school in the wake of the announcement of the adhan.
“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 posted on his Facebook page.
“They’re not inclusive, they’re making a political statement about how they’re on the side of Muslims!” Carlson said. “This external threat stuff, we did a story on the Daily Caller about this woman from Ohio who called in to say, ‘I disagree with this decision.’ She got a call from the cops! She wasn’t threatening — she says she wasn’t threatening anybody.”
He then remarked, “I don’t buy this external threat thing. I think this is just another way to pretend that they’re being persecuted.”
After the cancellation of the Muslim call to prayer, Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations at the school, told Duke Today: “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.”
Graham wrote on his Facebook: “I am glad to hear that Duke University reversed its decision to allow the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast from its chapel bell tower. They made the right decision!”