Muslim Call to Prayer Will Be Broadcast Five Times Each Day During Month of Ramadan In Minneapolis

(AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

 

Because Muslim-Americans must observe social distancing like the rest of us, the city of Minneapolis has allowed those living in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood to broadcast the call to prayer five times a day from the rooftop of a mosque throughout the month of Ramadan. In this way, “Muslims can pray together while social distancing.”

 

Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) issued a statement which said, “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.”

Al Jazeera reports, “The Muslim call to prayer echoed for the first time ever throughout a Minneapolis neighborhood, in what is believed to be the first publicly-broadcast call to prayer in a major US city.”

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 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,” reports the BizPacReview. “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.”

BizPacReview explains that “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.”

Given that many local governments wouldn’t allow Christians to sit in their closed vehicles to listen to services on Easter Sunday, I’m feeling just a little bit “triggered” by this. Perhaps we went about it in the wrong way. We should have just blasted our services over loudspeakers from the rooftops of churches.