For the first time in history, the Central Mosque of Cologne in Germany raised the call to prayer over loudspeakers on Friday, October 14.
“This is an important step in the perception of Muslim religious communities as part of society,” Abdurrahman Atasoy, a senior official with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, or DITIB, said in a statement quoted by ABC News.
“That Muslims have arrived and been accepted with their representative mosques as a visible part and with the call to prayer as an audible part of society is the core message of this long process,” he said.
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Atasoy added that the public adhan has taken Muslims “out of unseen and unpleasant backyard mosques into the fold of society.”
The Adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).
It was first approved by the mayor of Cologne in October, 2021, to celebrate the diversity of the city.
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Under the agreement, about 35 mosques in Cologne will raise the call to prayer for up to five minutes on Fridays between noon and 3pm.
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.