For the first time in the German city of Cologne, permission was granted for adhan over a loudspeaker for Friday prayers, subject to a number of conditions.
According to the German website Deutsche Welle, all 35 mosques in the West German city can now call to prayer for five minutes on Friday between 12 noon and 3 pm local time.
A two-year agreement has been reached between the city of Cologne and the Muslim community, which could be renewed. However, mosques will have to meet a number of conditions before the call to prayer.
According to the conditions, before giving the call to prayers, the management of the mosque has to inform the houses in the neighborhood and this can also be done through a pamphlet distribution.
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In case of complaints, it is necessary to appoint a person for liaison, while depending on the location of each mosque in the city, the city administration will decide for itself how loud the speaker’s voice should be.
Cologne mayor Henriette Reker has tweeted “There has been much discussion over the project #Muezzin-Ruf (Muslim call). Cologne is the city of [religious] freedom and diversity.”
She further added, “Those who arrive at the main train station are greeted by the cathedral and accompanied by church bells. Many Cologne residents are Muslims. Allowing the muezzin call is for me a sign of respect.”
Many people on social media are calling this a good step forward for the harmony of Germany.
It should be noted that a few years ago, the largest mosque in Germany was built in Cologne, but for a long time, anti-Islam and anti-immigrant people have been holding rallies against it.