Students attending Durham, N.C.'s Duke University will hear a weekly call to prayer on their campus beginning this Friday as school officials approved a Muslim student group's request to chant the "adhan" from the vaunted Duke Chapel's bell tower, Raleigh CBS affiliate WRAL reported.
The call, offered by members of the Duke Muslim Students Association, will be heard each Friday at 1 p.m. and should last three minutes at moderate amplification, Duke officials told WRAL in a statement.
The ornate and ecumenical Christian chapel, with a 50-bell carillon and three pipe organs, was constructed in the 1930s. It sits in the middle of Duke's West campus on the property's highest ridge and serves as a religious center for the private university. It has long connections to the United Methodist Church and is used for services by the school and by other religious denominations.
"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," said Imam Adeel Zeb, who serves as the university's Muslim chaplain, told WRAL.
"The collective Muslim community is truly grateful and excited about Duke's intentionality toward religious and cultural diversity."
Added Christy Lohr Sapp, associate dean for religious life, in an interview with 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."
Response to the prayer announcement has been "overwhelmingly positive," Omid Safi, director at Duke's Islamic Studies Center, told The Huffington Post.