Saturday, March 15, 2008

Call to prayer coming to a mosque near you soon

Hang onto your wighat, Lucille...

Hamtramck Mosque Begins Call to Prayer Broadcast

For the first time in Hamtramck, the Islamic call to prayer was heard Friday afternoon over a loudspeaker, Local 4 reported.

Hear Islamic Call To Player

After a ceremony at the Al-Islah Islamic Center -- attended by the city's mayor, members of City Council and a priest from nearby St. Stanislav Catholic Church -- the key to the amplifier was issued and Hamtramck's first call to prayer was chanted into a microphone and broadcast over loud speakers atop the mosque building.

In the Islamic faith, there are five calls to prayer, but in Hamtramck, only those at 1:35 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:05 p.m. will be broadcast, according to the station's reports. The 5:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. prayers will be withheld.

The noise of traffic outside the mosque muffled the afternoon broadcast, but Abdul Motlib, of Hamtramck, described it as "wonderful." He said the call to prayer will help Muslims to remember to take time out of their schedule to pay tribute to nearly 1,400 years of worship.

But not everyone in the community was pleased by the unanimous decision by City Council in April to approve an amendment to Hamtramck's noise ordinance and allow the prayer broadcasts.

"I wouldn't want that piped in my window. I'd like to be able to go to sleep," said Jerry Radziszewski, a Hamtramck resident. "We have no idea what's being said or sung or anything. We have no idea. To us, it's just noise. That's it. It's racket."

The mosque is located across the street from St. Ladislaus Catholic Church. The city's former mayor, Gary Zych, said that on some days, the church bells may sound off at the same time as the mosque's call to prayer. He added, "That's what you call harmony."

No former mayor, that's what you call dhimmitude.