Cologne’s massive central mosque broadcast the Islamic call to prayer for the first time ever this week following a German court ruling granting permission to do so.
The Islamic call to prayer was publicly broadcast from the mosque for Friday prayers this week for five minutes at a time between noon and 3 p.m. determined by the position of the sun in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne.
The call to prayer is part of a new pilot project by the Cologne city government and is required to be only loud enough that people in the vicinity of the mosque can hear it, Le Figaro reports.
Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker labelled the pilot project a “sign of respect” and stated that is was an example of the acceptance of other religions in the city.
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Last year in October, the local government granted 35 mosques in the city the option to publicly broadcast the call to prayer, with Mayor Reker stating: “Those who arrive at the main station are greeted by the cathedral and accompanied by church bells. Many Cologne residents are Muslims. To allow the call to prayer is a sign of respect for me.”
Abdurrahman Atasoy, vice-president of the Turkish-Islamic Union of Religious Affairs (Ditib), the association that runs the mosque, said he was pleased that the broadcast of the call to prayer was going ahead.
“This is an important step in the perception of Muslim religious communities as part of society,” he said.
Cologne is not the first Western European city or town to allow the Islamic call to prayer to be broadcast in recent years. In Sweden, police in the town of Växjö gave the go-ahead for the local mosque to broadcast the call to prayer in 2018, despite criticism by some local politicians.
Prior to the permission being granted, Church of Sweden bishop Fredrik Modeus stated that he not only approved of the idea but claimed he was looking forward to hearing it, saying: “I welcome the application and look forward to hearing both church bells and prayer announcements in our city.”
All 35 mosques in the German city of Cologne have been granted permission by the local government to publicly broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. https://t.co/YpSsDbyd7W
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