A Turkish mosque in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has begun sounding public calls to prayer from an outdoor loudspeaker system mounted on the roof of the edifice.
Observers believe a precedent has now been established, and that many of the other 3,000 mosques in Germany will soon begin jumping on the muezzin loudspeaker bandwagon.
The sonorous prayer calls (known as adhan in Arabic) can be heard from great distances when amplified through electric loudspeakers; some German towns and cities are actually beginning to evoke the sounds and images of the Islamic Middle East.
The Turkish-run Central Mosque in the northern German town of Rendsburg, situated 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Hamburg, has been calling Muslims to prayer since 2010, when Social Democratic Mayor Andreas Breitner authorized the muezzin to issue prayer calls through three loudspeakers mounted on the top of two 26 meter (85 foot) minarets attached to each side of the mosque. Prayer calls are permitted between 6AM and 10PM.
The German newspaper Die Zeit reported that Rendsburg was engaged in a “holy war” after a local citizen’s group gathered nearly 1,000 signatures opposing the muezzin. The group, which goes by the name “No Public Prayer Calls” [Kein öffentlicher Gebetsruf], had argued that the construction of the mosque was more than sufficient to guarantee the Muslims their constitutional right to free speech, and that the subsequent demands for a muezzin publicly to call the faithful to prayer was excessive. Moreover, the group argued that the Koran makes no mention of the need for muezzin, making the position superfluous.
The Turkish imam of the Kuba Camii Mosque, Bahri Ciftci, declared: “May the public prayer call be a symbol of a tolerant, intercultural and interreligious common coexistence.”
During the ceremony, the mayor of Eschweiler, Rudi Bertram, said, “Tolerance must be practiced on a daily basis. We are all responsible for ensuring that there is a co-existence.”
Also present at the event was the head of DITIB [Turkish-Islamist Union for Religious Affairs], Izzet Er, who claimed that the Prophet Mohammed had himself had been a model of religious cooperation. Er added: “I have the desire and the hope that we can contribute something positive to the peaceful coexistence of all the people in Eschweiler. Ethical values are ultimately universal and valid for all.”
Not surprisingly, Izzet Er failed to mention that the Turkish government is one of the greatest persecutors of Christians (and journalists) in the modern Middle East.
According to a new book entitled, “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” authored by three scholars from the Hudson Institute, “In today’s Turkey, Christian communities confront two inter-related threats: First, they are suppressed by all-encompassing state restrictions on internal governance, education, houses of worship, and wider property rights, and the denial of legal status. They are in practice barred from operating seminaries and directly owning property. Largely through its Directorate of Religious Foundations, the state supervises and tries to control all Christian activity.”
Full article: Germany Faced with “Loudspeaker Jihad” (Gatestone Institute)