The mayor of the western German city of Cologne has announced that the Muslim call to prayer will be allowed on loudspeakers on Fridays.
The call to prayer, known in Arabic as the Azan or Adhan, will be carried out under a two-year pilot project.
“Many residents of Cologne are Muslims. In my view it is a mark of respect to allow the muezzin’s call,” city mayor Henriette Reker wrote on Twitter, The Local reported.
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The Adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).
As the Christian calls to prayer were already a central feature of a city famous for its medieval cathedral, Reker said that the Muslim adhan will showcase the city’s diversity.
“Whoever arrives at Cologne central station is welcomed by the cathedral and the sound of its church bells,” she said.
“Our Muslim citizens are an integral part of our city. Hearing the call to prayer next to church bells in our city shows that diversity is appreciated in Cologne and that diversity is here,” the Anadolu agency quoted Reker.
Germany has more than 900 mosques belonging to the Turkish Islamic Union alone.
Cologne is not the first city in North Rhine-Westphalia to allow mosques to broadcast Adhan.
In a region with a large Turkish immigrant community, mosques in Gelsenkirchen and Düren have been broadcasting the religious call since as long ago as the 1990s.