Minneapolis mosques will now be allowed to blast the call to prayer outdoors on loud speakers all year round.
City Council Member Jamal Osman, a very involved member of the Muslim community, was behind the push for mosques to be allowed to play the adhan several times a day, every day.
The call to prayer that will be bellowing from mosques around the city four times a day includes Arabic words like “Allahu akbar,” which means “god is great,” but is also a reminder to some of deadly terror attacks.
“For the faith of Christians in Minneapolis, the tolling of church bells is an affirmation of their faith and the comfort that brings that’s exactly the same purpose of adhan service for Muslims,” Osman told the Star Tribune. “Thousands of Muslims in Minneapolis now have their faith acknowledged the same as everyone else.”
There is one limitation however, the calls can only be played between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. — so the allowance isn’t good enough for the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Muslims pray five times a day between sun rise and sun down, with each prayer lasting up to five minutes. The time restriction means that the adhan for fajr, or dawn prayer, cannot be blasted through the city.
The Tribune reports, “the time restriction violates Muslims’ constitutional rights, said a local representative of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. The organization said it also wants to see formal language in the council’s resolution acknowledging that mosques have the right to call for prayers.”
“The practice of religion is not constrained by the Constitution of the United States,” Mohamed Ibrahim, CAIR-MN’s deputy executive director told the Tribune. “The … right to generally practice religion supersedes the city’s ordinance.”
Osman said he is willing to fight for the dawn prayer alarms.
“If some mosques want to broadcast dawn prayers, we can advocate for that,” Osman said. “This is a moment to celebrate and a lot of people in the community are happy about this.”
The Tribune reported that “the adhan can be heard in other U.S. cities with large Muslim communities. In Detroit most calls to prayer are broadcast inside mosques. In the Detroit suburbs of Hamtramck and Dearborn, though, some broadcasts are done publicly, according to CAIR national.”
Residents of other cities where they are permitted have complained about the overwhelming noise from the calls.
There are more than 20 mosques across Minneapolis and over 150,000 Muslims.
An example of the loud call to prayer can be heard here: