Last week Duke University was going to begin sounding the Muslim call to prayer each Friday before a few prominent Christians (Franklin Graham) spoke out against it. Duke’s goal seemed to be to make their campus more welcoming to the diverse students who go there. The same chapel sounds bells on Sunday to announce the beginning of church. Graham responded that this call to prayer comes at a time when Christianity is being excluded from the public square. Even if that is so, Duke is private and is very welcoming of Christians, so Graham’s argument does not seem relevant.
Further, I think it is great for Americans, and Christians, to model a welcoming attitude to people of other faiths. We ought to be better then the extremists who are executing those they disagree with. Not just better to the point that we don’t execute people, but better because we welcome the other. Instead of fear and silence, why not sound a call to prayer for three minutes each week to show Muslims we welcome them into our pluralistic culture? As one person in the video below said, this could even set an example that Muslim students can take back to their home country and perhaps work to change some attitudes towards minority religions in those countries.
In other words, if we want Christians as minority to be treated better in other countries, the best way to do this is not Graham’s way but Duke’s way.
What do you think?