RELIGION

Conceived as symbol of pluralism, Muslim call to prayer at Duke canceled after backlash

This Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 photo shows Duke Chapel in Durham, N.C. On Thursday, just days after announcing that a traditional Muslim call to prayer would echo from the historic chapel tower, Duke University changed course after being bombarded with calls and emails objecting to the plan. Instead, Muslims will gather for their call to prayer in a grassy area in front of the chapel before heading into a room in the chapel for their weekly prayer service on Friday. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)

This Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 photo shows Duke Chapel in Durham, N.C. On Thursday, just days after announcing that a traditional Muslim call to prayer would echo from the historic chapel tower, Duke University changed course after being bombarded with calls and emails objecting to the plan. Instead, Muslims will gather for their call to prayer in a grassy area in front of the chapel before heading into a room in the chapel for their weekly prayer service on Friday. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)  (The Associated Press)

Before it unraveled, a plan to use Duke University's chapel tower in a call to prayer for the school's Muslim community was meant to promote religious unity and pluralism.

But days after announcing the idea, the university changed course Thursday following a flurry of calls and emails objecting to the plan.

Michael Schoenfeld is Duke's vice president for public affairs and government relations. He said the school received a considerable amount of calls and emails from on and off campus, including alumni.

He also said there were concerns about safety and security, but he declined to elaborate on whether any specific threats had been received.

Under a revised plan, Muslims will gather for their call to prayer in a grassy area near the 210-foot gothic tower before heading into a room in Duke Chapel for their weekly prayer service.