A Minneapolis neighborhood, which lies in controversial Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district, will begin broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer five times a day over outdoor loudspeakers throughout the month of Ramadan, reports say.
The move is “believed to be the first publicly-broadcast call to prayer in a major US city,” al Jazeera English said in a post on Twitter.
The Muslim call to prayer echoed for the first time ever throughout a Minneapolis neighbourhood, in what is believed to be the first publicly-broadcast call to prayer in a major US city https://t.co/aGvy1cXqdJ | #Ramadan pic.twitter.com/semZG904ps
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) April 24, 2020
The simple, short call – known as the adhan – marked an historical moment for Minneapolis and major cities across the United States, community members said. While the adhan is commonly broadcast throughout the Middle East, North Africa and other places, for many Muslims in the US, it is only heard inside mosques or community centres.
“There’s definitely a lot of excitement,” said Imam Abdisalam Adam, who is on the board of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, from where the adhan will be broadcast.
“Some people see it as historic,” Adam told Al Jazeera. “To the point … that they’re not doing it, able to see it in their lifetime.”
The city granted a noise permit for the prayer.
“Tonight’s historic call to prayer in Minneapolis will bring comfort and remind the faithful and the neighborhood that as we are physically distant we can still be connected to our faith and mosque,” Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement.
“The call to prayer is being issued via an amplified public address system on the rooftop of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood,” Biz Pac Review reported. “According to the Sahan Journal, the P.A. system and technical support necessary for the community-wide vocal calls were provided by First Avenue (a famous nightclub and music venue that became a national landmark of sorts after Prince used it as a location for several scenes in the movie “Purple Rain”). The city of Minneapolis issued a noise permit for the calls to prayer that start at sunrise and end at sunset.”
Cedar-Riverside is a neighborhood that in recent years has become one of the most densely populated areas of Islamic immigrants in the country, principally coming from Somalia and Ethiopia. It was in that neighborhood that two years ago, a group of Muslims was reported to be patrolling the area, confronting people who were not following tenets of Sharia law.
Locals have for years called the area “Little Mogadishu” and it is known to have been a recruiting ground for Islamic terrorists.
Some residents were not happy.
“Pathetic! People can’t go to church or sit in their cars and listen to the gospel, but this….Unf***ing believable,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Yes! It is not ok for Christians to pray over loud speakers. Something to do with our constitution and not pushing another religion on to another. If we do it’s a guarantee law suit from the Islamic Terrorist org, CAIR. Nuts, right!?” wrote another.
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