“The call to prayer is something that is blasted over loudspeakers in Muslim majority countries and Muslim enclaves around Detroit,” Brown wrote. “We’ve already heard enough ‘Allahu Akbar’ for a lifetime.”
She said “fighting creeping Shariah requires constant vigilance.”
The concern arose in the wake of a controversy over an announcement by Duke University – later withdrawn – to have the Muslim prayer call blasted across its campus on Fridays. The move by school officials surprised the dean of the Duke Divinity School, who was not consulted, according to the Washington Post.
A video of the call to prayer at UCLA, reported by Christian News, showed the north side of the campus near the athletic field off Sunset Boulevard.
“While the audio is faint, Arabic-style chanting can be heard in the footage as students gathered on the lawn,” the report said.
The report said the common call to prayer chant is: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshiped except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. … Allah is most great.”
At Duke, Dean Richard Hays said “the use of a prominent Christian place of worship as a minaret for Muslim proclamation will, in our time, have immediate global repercussions.”
“Any discussion about such a proposal should take into careful account the perspective of millions of Christians living in Islamic societies where their faith is prohibited or persecuted,” he said.
The school had said amplifying the Muslim prayer call was to unify the campus and make sure it was welcoming for students of all faiths.
But an immediate and vocal reaction, especially a call for donors to discontinue their financial support of the school, prompted officials to reverse themselves almost immediately.
The officials, who also cited threats, decided the prayer call for Muslims was held on the university’s chapel steps instead.
The London Guardian reported Richard Brodhead, university president, later met with Muslim students to respond to questions about the university’s invitation to blast the call to prayer.
“But what some saw as a small token of welcome and an opportunity to challenge ‘media stereotypes of Muslims,’ others took as an affront,” the report said. “The questions that were raised by the call to prayer, including the state of Muslim identity within American public spaces and the nature of Duke’s religious pluralism, cased a national firestorm no one at the university could have predicted and left behind a community divided along multiple fault lines.”
Among those protesting the school’s decision was Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, who asked donors to “withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed.”
Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the early history of the United States, Duke hired its first full-time Muslim chaplain and launched its Center for Muslim Life in 2009.