Is the Increase in Amplified Calls to Prayer a Promising Evolution or a Concerning Shift?

In the heart of Hamatrack, the first city in America with an all-Muslim government, the day begins with a thunderous call to prayer at 6 AM.

The loudspeakers from the local mosque reverberate through the city, making it nearly impossible for anyone living nearby to ignore.

“This is not just a call to prayer; it’s a statement. If you’re a Muslim, you’re expected to attend the mosque, and if you’re not, the message seems to be that you should consider leaving.”

This scenario paints a picture of what some fear could become a common occurrence across America. It’s a concern that has been fueled by recent developments in cities like New York and Minneapolis, where local governments have taken steps to accommodate the Islamic call to prayer.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, the situation is even more intense. Residents like Rina, a pseudonym used for her safety, are jolted awake every night by the blaring speakers of the local mosque.

The noise has caused her such distress that she has developed an anxiety disorder. Yet, she is too afraid to complain, as doing so could lead to accusations of blasphemy, a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Back in the United States, New York City seems to be following a similar path. Once known for the controversy surrounding the Ground Zero Mosque, the city is now home to numerous mosques.

Mayor Eric Adams recently announced a new initiative to support and facilitate the Islamic call to public prayer on Fridays and during Ramadan. This move, while celebrated by some, raised concerns among others who fear the potential disruption caused by amplified calls to prayer.

Residents living near mosques have already voiced their complaints about the noise. In one case, a neighbor filed a complaint against three mosque officials for violating the city’s noise ordinance.

Musa Jebril, one of the mosque leaders named in the suit, defended the practice, stating that the purpose of the call is to be heard and obeyed. He added that the timing and words of the call cannot be changed as they were appointed by the Prophet Mohammed.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis became the first city in the U.S. to allow amplified calls to prayer at all hours, amending its noise ordinance to accommodate this practice. This decision was met with mixed reactions, with some residents expressing frustration over being woken up by the calls.

This article appeared in StatesmanPost and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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