An Ohio woman who says she called Duke University — to speak her mind about a plan to allow a Muslim student group to issue a weekly call-to-prayer on campus — claims she was contacted by a member of the Duke University Police Department who said she was conducting an investigation about the phone call.
The woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Pam, said she called the office of the Duke men’s basketball team early Thursday after she read that the school was planning to allow the Muslim Students Association to chant a call-to-prayer, the “adhan,” over a microphone from the Duke Chapel bell tower each Friday.
The move outraged many, including Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham; though later in the day on Thursday, the private university in Durham, N.C., reversed its decision to allow the call-to-prayer claiming that its effort to “unify was not having the intended effect.”
But on Friday university spokesman Michael Schoenfeld offered a different rationale for the change of course, telling CNN that the plan was being scrapped due to a “credible and serious security threat” and that the school had received a number of phone calls which were “pretty loud and nasty.”
Schoenfeld provided no details of the threats — though said that the FBI was involved in an investigation.
But the school apparently decided that Pam’s phone call required an investigation, though she says she made no threats whatsoever.
“I called the basketball department because Duke basketball is big and with the Final Four coming up I wanted them to know that their fans aren’t going to be fans much longer if they keep doing this stuff,” Pam told The Daily Caller on Thursday, before the school had publicly stated that it had received threats.
“If you want to do this kind of thing, well then it’s going to hit you in the pocketbook,” Pam continued, adding “maybe the sponsors will turn away when they do stuff like this that infuriates American citizens.”
The Duke Blue Devils are perennial contenders for the NCAA national championship. The team is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation. According to The Herald-Sun, the men’s team pulled in nearly $13 million in profit in 2014.
Pam, who did not leave her name or phone number during that initial call, thought the issue was over — that she had voiced her opinion and that nothing more would come of it. But within 45 minutes, she says she received two phone calls from a number she did not recognize.
When Pam called back, she spoke to a woman who identified herself as a police officer with the Duke police department.
“She said that she was doing an investigation,” Pam told TheDC.
“What kind of an investigation?” a bewildered Pam asked the officer.
Pam said she couldn’t figure out why her conversation with the men’s basketball office staffer would have merited scrutiny from law enforcement. She also wondered how and why her phone number was being shared between individuals at the school.
During a conversation that lasted less than three minutes, Pam says she declined to give her name to the officer. When she asked for the officer’s name, the officer initially declined to provide it, though she eventually did.
Pam said she wanted to file a complaint over what she felt was harassment.
“Who are you going to complain to?” Pam says the officer asked.
The Daily Caller sent numerous emails and left several voice mails with the Duke University police department and the office of the men’s basketball team. None of those requests for comment were returned.