April 26, 2004

Controversy over Muslim call to prayer in Hamtramck

The Hamtramck city in Michigan state is rocking with a controversy as the City Council is expected to give final approval tomorrow to an amendment to the city's noise ordinance to permit the Bangladeshi al-Islah mosque in Hamtramck to sound the adhan, or traditional call to prayer, via loudspeakers five times each day (reports The Detroit news). Hamtramck is likely to become one of the few cities in the United States where the Islamic call to prayer is broadcast onto public streets.

The cybersurvey at the Detroit News site shows a 94% unfavorable response to that decision. And more interesting are the comments on this report.

The Muslim calls to prayer were necessary in the days before clocks and watches were ubiquitous, or even invented. Nowadays, worshippers of all faiths can rely on all manner of electonic reminders.

Don't the muslims have any clocks or watches?

What about the rights of those who speak Arabic but are not Muslims? This call to prayer is more than a simple melody to someone who understands the language?

While Muslim Personal Law is not recognized in the West, the Personal Law of non-Muslim minorities has always been recognized in the Muslim world. Second, while throughout Europe and America, Muslims are not permitted to make the call to prayer (adhan) on loud speakers, church bells ring freely in the Muslim world. Third, the wide spread anti-Islamic prejudice in the Western media is both a cause and a consequence of the underlying intolerance.

And I liked this most:

Silence the church bells and silence the call to prayer.

I feel that "while in Rome, do as the Romans do". There is no need to establish a little China or a little Bangladesh all over the world. However, I do not want anybody to ignore their culture & traditions. But as long as they do it in their own promises then they must have full right to do it. But their customs should not be public and disturb others.

And If one still can't do without the calls to prayers, they can always go back to their country and have their favorable atmosphere. Nobody would mind.


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