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Sweden Allows Adhan, Muslims Happy

CAIRO – A mosque in the Swedish capital was given the green light to raise Adhan (call for prayers), to the jubilance of the Muslim community in the Scandinavian country.

“I’m happy, very happy,” Ismail Okur, chairman of the Islamic Cultural Center of Botkyrka, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

“It means a great deal for our association and above all for our religion, and for the prayer.”

Police said Thursday that Fittja mosque in the southern Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka will be allowed to raise the Adhan on Fridays.

The permission allows Muslims to raise the Adhan for three to five minutes between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm on Fridays.

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The move came in response to a request by Muslims to raise their call for prayers from the Fittja mosque, the only Muslim worship place that has a minaret in Sweden.

“I’m really happy and grateful,” Okur told Swedish news agency TT.

Police said strict regulations would govern the placement of the speakers to raise the Adhan.

Information must also be provided to nearby residents before raising the call for prayers, police said.

No date has been set for the first Adhan.

The Adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).

The Adhan is raised five times a day.

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

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