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Muslims Allowed to Raise Adhan in Southern Sweden

STOCKHOLM – The local Muslim community in the southern Swedish town of Vaxjö has been allowed to broadcast the call to prayer, or adhan, Anadolu Agency reported Tuesday.

Police in the city of Vaxjo gave the permission for Friday prayer, according to radio SR.

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Fredrik Modeus, district bishop, has welcomed the decision in a statement, adding that Sweden guarantees religious freedom to its citizens.

In February, Växjö Muslim Foundation submitted an application to broadcast the adhan only once a week, for the Friday prayer.

The adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer). The adhan is called five times a day.

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But Muslims in the West were often unable to make the adhan for prayers as local authorities argue that the call would cause noise disturbance to residents.

Supporting his Muslim neighbors, Bishop Modeus called on his fellow Christians to “try to get to know people who are different,” adding that “then we will discover that they are people, like us.”

Muslims make up between 450,000 and 500,000 of Sweden’s nine million people, according to the US State Department report in 2011.

In April 2013, worshippers at the Fittja mosque in southern Stockholm heard Sweden’s first-ever call to prayer, which brought some congregation members to tears of joy.

Last year, a mosque in Karlskrona Municipality, Blekinge County, was allowed to broadcast the call to prayer five times a day.