My husband and I lived for many years in Dearborn, Mich., which has a large Arab-American population. Through the cooperation of the Dearborn police department, mayor’s office and ACCESS, the organization that provides assistance to the Middle Eastern population, our town was and remains peaceful, including through the terrible days of 9/11.
In Raleigh the Middle Eastern population would like to be included in Duke University’s stated goal of religious pluralism, by issuing a single daily call to prayer from Duke’s chapel. Inclusion can promote peaceful relationships between diverse groups of people that strengthen a society from within. The Rev. Franklin Graham then issued a call to exclude certain people because of their non-Christian religious faith. Apparently he speaks for people who have the influence to change Duke’s decision. How sad.
Graham seems more like the despots of history and the present who wage unspeakable crimes against people not of their favored religion. Mohammed Banawan recognized his statements as “trying to incite hatred.”
I don’t equate the zealots of ISIS with the Muslims who worship peacefully in our midst, and I hope that Duke again reverses its decision, this time to allow the call to prayer publicly on campus.
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