Minneapolis mosques will now be allowed to call out prayers through loudspeakers throughout the year.
City Council member Jamal Osman, a highly involved member of the Muslim community, was behind the pressure to allow the call to prayer in the mosque several times a day.
Azan prayers from mosques around the city four times a day include Arabic words such as “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great”, but also a reminder of some deadly terrorist attacks.
“For the Christian faith in Minneapolis, ringing the church bell is a testament to their faith and the comfort that serves the same purpose as the Azan service for Muslims,” Osman told the Star Tribune. “Thousands of Muslims in Minneapolis are now acknowledging their faith like everyone else.”
There is a limitation, however, that calls can only be made between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Muslims pray five times a day between sunrise and sunset, each prayer lasting up to five minutes. Time constraints mean that the Fajr Azan or Fajr prayer cannot be performed through the city.
The Tribune reports, “The time limit violates the constitutional rights of Muslims,” said a local representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. The group said it wanted to see the official language in the council’s proposal that mosques have the right to call for prayers.
Mohammed Ibrahim, deputy executive director of CAIR-MN, told the Tribune: “Religion is not restricted by the United States Constitution. “Usually the right to practice religion goes beyond the city ordinance.”
Osman said he was willing to fight for the alarm of the Fajr prayers.
Osman said, “If some mosques want to broadcast Fajr prayers, we can speak for them. “It’s a moment of celebration and many in the community are happy with it.”
The Tribune reports that “the call to prayer is heard in other US cities with large Muslim communities. Most calls for prayers in Detroit are broadcast inside mosques. In the Detroit suburbs of Hamtramck and Dearborn, however, some broadcasts are made public, according to CAIR National. “
Residents of other cities where they have been allowed have complained about irresistible noise from calls.
There are more than 20 mosques and more than 150,000 Muslims across Minneapolis.
An example of a loud call to prayer can be heard here:
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