Duke Adds Muslim Religious Leader

June 17, 2008

Author: Yonat Shimron

Source: News Observer


In a sign of the changing makeup of its students, Duke University has hired its first imam, or Muslim religious leader, becoming one of only a handful of universities in the United States that have full-time Muslim clergy.

Abdullah Antepli, a native of Turkey who is completing his doctoral work at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn., will become the Muslim imam and chaplain on campus, beginning July 1.

Antepli will join a roster of at least 20 faith leaders, including a rabbi, a Roman Catholic priest and a dozen Protestant ministers who attend to the spiritual needs of Duke's increasingly diverse student body.

"Here's a university seeing a growing need for a qualified Muslim chaplain and graciously responding to the need," Antepli said Monday. "It's really admirable. They could easily have ignored it or asked the Muslim community to pay for it."