By Dave Gibson, May 18, 2020
In April, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey approved a noise permit to allow the Dar Al-Hijra Mosque in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood to broadcast the traditional “Adhan,” or call to prayer, five times a day. The prayers, played through loudspeakers, which start at sunrise and end at sunset, began being heard on April 23, and will supposedly end on May 23 (during the month of Ramadan).
The Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) provided the necessary audio equipment for the mosque located at South Fifth Street and Cedar Avenue.
While this move made national headlines, the media completely ignored a similar move made in Paterson, New Jersey, two months earlier.
On February 25, Councilman Shahin Khalique sponsored a measure before the Paterson City Council to make the Muslim call to prayers exempt from the city’s existing noise ordinance, not just during Ramadan, but permanently.
The measure passed unanimously, by a 7-0 vote.
The city of Paterson is currently home to 15 mosques, and despite the noise ordinance, some of them were apparently already broadcasting the prayers, five times daily.
Following the vote, The Middle East Eye reported:
“’We’re solving a problem that doesn’t exist,’ Councilman William McKoy said in support of the measure.
In the United States, some cities allow for the adhan to be broadcast, such as in Hamtramck, Michigan, which passed a similar ordinance in 2004.”
*It should be noted that the rather obscure “Middle East Eye” is the only media outlet that reported on the Paterson City Council’s vote.
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