BERLIN, KOMPAS.com – Germany’s largest mosque will be allowed to broadcast the call to prayer via loudspeakers on Friday afternoon (10/15/2021), after Cologne city authorities and the Muslim community agreed to ease restrictions.
On Monday (11/10/2021), it was decided that all 35 mosques in Cologne would be allowed to broadcast the call to prayer for up to five minutes between noon and 3pm, under a two-year initiative.
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The mosques allowed to broadcast the call to prayer include the Cologne Central Mosque, which opened in 2018 after becoming a point of anti-Muslim conflict from a far-right party that grew stronger after the influx of asylum seekers in 2015-16.
“Allowing the call of the muezzin (azan) to me is a sign of respect,” Cologne mayor Henriette Reker wrote on Twitter. Al Jazeera on Monday (11/10/2021).
The call to prayer will sound the same as the bells of the cathedral of Cologne, northern Europe’s largest Gothic church, as people arrive at the city’s main train station, Henriette Reker said.
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“This (permission to broadcast the call to prayer) shows that diversity is valued and lived in Cologne,” he said.
During the controversy surrounding the construction of a large mosque, Cologne’s Central Mosque, supporters assured the public that it would not routinely broadcast the call to prayer or the call to prayer, which is sounded five times a day in Muslim countries.
The city said mosques wishing to broadcast calls on Friday afternoons must comply with limits on the volume of their loudspeakers, and notify nearby neighbors in advance.
In Germany, there are about 4.5 million Muslims living as the largest religious minority group.
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