Several German parties, including the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel, have expressed support for allowing public broadcasts of the Islamic call to prayer during Ramadan across Germany.
The CDU, Social Democrats (SPD), and Greens have all welcomed granting special permissions to mosques across the country to broadcast the call to prayer during Ramadan, with some citing “solidarity” during the Chinese coronavirus outbreak as the reason.
“We are in an exceptional situation in which the constitutionally protected practise of faith and religious life in Germany have been enormously restricted for a good reason,” CDU religious policy spokesman Christoph de Vries told Die Welt.
He added that he “therefore considers temporary permission to allow the call to prayer as a symbolic sign of solidarity and common ground to be justifiable”.
Lars Castellucci of the SPD stated that it was up to local authorities to decide whether or not to allow the broadcast of the call to prayer, but urged that “It would be a good thing for them to be allowed in this exceptional situation for the time of Ramadan — as a sign of solidarity and comfort for the believers.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 9, 2018
The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) roundly rejected the idea, with religious spokesman Volker Münz saying the party did not support the measure and denying comparisons between the call to prayer and the ringing of church bells, saying the phrase “Allah hu Akbar” was a “claim to power”.
Germany is not the only country to consider allowing the call to prayer. In the city of Mississauga in Canada, located just outside of Toronto, Mayor Bonnie Crombie amended local laws to allow the Islamic prayer to broadcast during the month of Ramadan, according to the Toronto Sun.
“Council’s decision today to support the symbolic broadcasting of the call to prayer during Ramadan this year will provide inspiration, familiarity, and comfort to our city’s Muslim community during this challenging time,” the mayor said.
The public broadcast of the call to prayer has been a debate in other Western countries in recent years, too, including in Sweden, where the right to broadcast the call on Fridays was granted to a mosque in the city of Växjö in 2018.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 23, 2020