A mosque in Amsterdam district of Nieuw West is rallying to become the first mosque in the Dutch capital to air Adhan (call to prayer) from its minarets, DutchNews.nl reported.
“We are not trying to provoke, we are trying to normalize Islamic traditions,” Yassin Elforkani, the imam of the Blauwe mosque and cultural center, told the Parool.
“People associate “Allahu akbar” with violence and trouble thanks to international terrorism. But many visitors to our mosque experience it as a meditation aid,” he added.
The move was first announced on Facebook as mosque leaders said they hope that the call to prayer will help “normalize Islam in this beautiful world city of Amsterdam.”
“The azan can contribute to Islam finally being seen as normal in the Netherlands,” said Elforkani.
The Parool said that the Muslim call to prayer has the same status in law as church bells. The city councils have the authority to determine limits.
Adhan in the West
The adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).
Muslims in the West were often unable to make the Adhan for prayer. Local authorities argue that the call would cause noise disturbance to residents.
In April 2013, worshippers at the Fittja mosque in southern Stockholm heard Sweden’s first-ever call to prayer.
Islam is the second largest religion in the Netherlands, practiced by 4% of the population according to 2010–11 estimates. Most reside in the nation’s four major cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.
The early history of Islam in the Netherlands dates to the 16th century when a small number of Ottoman traders began settling in the nation’s port cities.
As a result, Amsterdam had its first improvised mosques in the early 17th century.