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Mosque's broadcast tests the tolerance of a city

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posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 06:30 PM
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I wasn't sure where to put this. I consider it a spearation of church and state issue, but that's me. Reasonoing: if you can't display a nativity scene, why should you be allowed to have a public call to prayer?

As you may know, Dearborn, MI has one of the largest MidEast populations. Many MidEasterners are also settling in nearby Hamtramck, MI.
Hamtramck, MI is a very small (2.2 square miles) city surrounded by Detroit. It is ethnically very diverse.
A year ago, the local Al-Islah Islamic Center petitioned the city to allow Muslim call to prayer. This call is about a minute long and is called five times a day.


"In this working-class town surrounded by Detroit, every street corner is a meeting of nations. Kosinski Hardware sits across from Aladdin Sweets. Olga and Ania's Beauty Salon is next door to a Bosnian restaurant, and the local King Video advertises movies in Albanian, Arabic, Polish, and Hindi. Conversations on the street are as likely to be in Bengali or Polish as in English.

But if Hamtramck's immigrant past has always been a source of pride, lately it's caused tensions as well, now amplified - literally - by a call to prayer that local mosques will broadcast from speakers five times a day.

The city council's adoption this week of an ordinance that allows the calls between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. has spurred debate about where the right to religious freedom ends and the right to quiet begins. Now, a flood of dissent has turned Hamtramck into a national symbol of culture clash, an intersection of turmoil and tolerance. What began as a simple question of noise has become a flash point of religious distrust, difference, and fear of Muslim "outsiders.""


www.csmonitor.com...




posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 06:42 PM
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Well, unless we're willing to ban church bells it would be difficult to ban the call to prayer. I would think that time limits, both for each call and available hours, should be limited as well as the decibel level.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 07:26 PM
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Hey, I have another idea....Why don't we just allow people to speak publicly, as loudly as they want, what they want? So what if people are offended, It's every American's First Ammendment right to be offended!



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 07:30 PM
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hey, i say let them have their prayer calls. what sucks is all the other intolerant pricks around here are being how it's wrong. detroit is so horrible...

but hey, if you're ever in hamtramck (pronounced ham-tram-ick for you non detroiters) there's an *excellent* polish restuarant called the soaring eagle.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 07:45 PM
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I say no. Noise ordinance. If we let them have prayer time, then I want to be able to blast my stereo whenever the hell i want as loud as I want.

The calls are disruptive to non muslims. When i was in Saudi, those #ing things went off quite frequently, rousing me from ym sleep in a fit of terror and rage. I would think to myself, wow, Im so glad I dont have to live here long, I can return to Germany where if someone is being disruptively noisy, i can call the cops.

The calls themselves are loud, disruptive, and an annoyance, unlike churchbells, which only go off once a day, if at all. Muslim prayercalls sound like a cross between an air raid siren and a dying cow. Not a pleasant noise, and for people who are trying to sleep, sit in peace in thier homes, what have you.

No one denies them the right to worship thier god. But this is America, not the middle east, and thus, they need to get with the program and check thier watches instead.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 08:32 PM
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This may sound silly but about 2 weeks before this call to prayer was on the news I had a dream (I am from Georgia) and in my dream heard this bells call and I was on the street I though that the call was from a catholic church but the people around me stated to pray in the streets like muslins and I ask the person next to me what was happening and it was a woman, and she said is prayer time you have to pray and I said, this it america we dont do this thing here and she smile and said now we do and is in every city in US. when I woke up thought to be the silliest dream I ever had and to my surprise 2 weeks later i heard it in the news that prayer bells are approved in a city in US for the muslin population, do you think this is an omen of things to come?



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 08:52 PM
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Believe me, marg, I have been woken up by the prayer calls many times, but i was in saudi. First time I heard them i ran downstairs cuz i thought we were under attack, asked the CQ NCO what the #, where iare our weapons. He looked at me like i was nuts, and i asked him about the screaming and howling outside, he laughed and told me to get used to it, that was a prayer call. it shook me for a moment. They had those towers everywhere, every one of them calling to prayer and stuff, ity was chaos.

Thats fine in thier own countries. But imagine the disturbance it will create for others here. Especially returning soldiers from the middle east. They wake up to that # and have flashbacks.

They tried to build a mosque here out in the suburbs a few years back, but the locals wouldnt have it, the noise issue was simply unacceptable.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 09:07 PM
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Thats fine in thier own countries. But imagine the disturbance it will create for others here. Especially returning soldiers from the middle east. They wake up to that # and have flashbacks


I think that this is going to be an issue in the future in US I think my dream is going to be true the scaries thing is that it was not only the muslins but we all had to pray to.
I thing if all religions are allowed to ring bells to prayer we are not going to be able to concentrate on our daily chores.


[Edited on 30-4-2004 by marg6043]



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by CommonSense
Well, unless we're willing to ban church bells it would be difficult to ban the call to prayer.

I really thought Church bells were rung less frquently than in years past. Perhaps funerals and speical occasions.
Not 5 times a day, everyday.
What about the rights of others not to hear the fog horns?

Sorry, but I remember the good old days, when immigrants came to this country and adapted to their new country. This is just anothr example of people coming to this country and not trying to fit in, learn the language, etc.



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 01:15 PM
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I hear call to prayer sometimes in Brooklyn. I actually like the musical sound of the call, but I could easily see how it could disturb people. There should be a decibel limit set, to at least respect the Mosque's neighbor's noise complaints.



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 01:17 PM
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I think that most people are generally tolerant of other belief structures, even during time of war. (Apart from those of the gung-ho mentality, of course).

During the first Gulf war I often travelled to Birmingham (UK). I used to pass the "Saddam Hussein Mosque' quite often. The Islamic leadership of the mosque were concerned in case they and the building were arracked. As far as I know, the only time it was damaged was by a bunch of drunks staggering around one night throwing bricks.



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 01:36 PM
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I dont think they should be allowed to sound their call five times per day. If you go to live in another country you respect thier laws, traditions and culture... not set up a mini country of your own in a city district.

Church bells can ring as many times as they want in our christian nation states. And calls to prayer can happen 5 times a day in the middle east.

But i get offended at interest groups who protest against us in our own country, if you dont like it, go to a place that you feel accomodates your cultural needs.

A friend of mine wore a skirt in dubai and got spat on by a women, she shouldn't have worn it, it disrespected thier culture. But when i see a women caked out in black overalls and headscarfs on my way to uni everyday, do i spit on her? Some Middle Easterners think they have the "divine" right to everything, and that we are scum for having different beliefs.

There's never going to be understanding between the middle east and the west. As long as religion prevails over reason, we've all gotta put up with it.


[Edited on 1-5-2004 by Snoopdopey]



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 02:24 PM
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Sorry, but I remember the good old days, when immigrants came to this country and adapted to their new country.


Ah, yes, the good old days. When you were forced to live by others belief's (ironic when you came to America for freedom) or got beaten or killed if you didn't. The christians don't own America. It's for everybody. If you don't like a place where people come to, so they can live free, and pursue their beliefs without getting persecuted, leave. America isn't run by white, male, slaveholders any more. We grew up.



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 02:34 PM
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They came to America, from the prejudices and hardship of thier homeland, to set up a new life, and slaughter the original inhabitants of their "Free" land.

Some free land when the Indians natural rights were ignored.

Uk and US are christian countries, But even ignoring religion, we have our own culture and conventions, which should be respected if you are not a citizen and wishing to live in the country. Not protested against.



posted on May, 1 2004 @ 03:02 PM
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I consider a calling to prayer five times a day a problem that should not be allowed in this country and guess what, I also consider church bells just as much a problem. I don't believe in God or any other higher power and if I want to sleep late on Sunday it really pisses me off that I have to listen to some stupid bell ringing waking me up. Amplify that five times and I can see what the non-muslims in the town are going through. If they dont know when they are supposed to pray then that is their personal problem. Keep your religion to yourself and quit bugging me with your bells and bull horns.



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 06:57 PM
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Here's both sides of the issue as presented by a Muslim member of Hamtramck's City Council and a free-lance journalis for the opposing viewpoint.
Personally, I'm waiting for the ACLU to get on board.

"Cities should treat all religions the same; Muslim broadcasts are just like church bells

By Shahab Ahmed / Special to The Detroit News

About the call to prayer

The Islamic call to prayer is performed five times a day; at dawn, noon, late afternoon, dusk and evening (the exact times can vary). In most of the United States, the call is done inside the mosque; in much of the rest of the world, it is done outside the mosque, often through loudspeakers.

The Muslim call to worship in Hamtramck has received a lot of national attention, but there is nothing really controversial about it. A local community has made a judgment about a local noise issue.

The Hamtramck City Councils approval of letting mosques broadcast the call to worship five times a day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. over loudspeakers recognizes the right of the mosques to practice this ancient tradition. And the willingness of the al-Islah Islamic Center to ask permission to do this, even though it didnt have to, shows it wants to be a good neighbor in a multiethnic, multireligious community. "

www.detnews.com...

"Muslim broadcasts amount to noise pollution; calls should be banned like Christian practices

By Barrett Kalellis / Special to The Detroit News

If the mosques in Hamtramck start broadcasting the Muslim muezzins adhan, or call to prayer, one predictable result might be that real estate values will nosedive, as lovers of quiet decamp the area.

Directly aimed at the Islamic minority in the middle of what formerly was a predominantly Polish neighborhood, the move has understandably upset the surrounding non-Muslim community, who object to the invasiveness and inescapability of these sounds.

Stripped of its repetition, the adhan declarations include God is great and I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.

What would be the reaction of citizens if each church or synagogue broadcast pastors and rabbis over loudspeakers throughout the town, exhorting everyone within earshot to come to their services, extolling Yahweh and Jesus? "

www.detnews.com...

And here is the call, to be repeated 5x per day, in Arabic:
"English translation of the call to worship:

"God is great" (four times).

"I testify there is no other God but God (twice)."

"Come and pray" (twice).

"Come and flourish" (twice).

"God is great" (twice).

"There is no God but God" (once).

Translation by Masud Khan, secretary of al-Islah Islamic Center, Hamtramck
"



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 07:11 PM
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DTOM,
Great post. This is going to be a long standing issue for a lot of people. The fact is while our founding fathers were Christian, it wasn't written into our constitution. It's not an issue of separation of church and state, but rather, one of free speech.

Speaking of that, the following came from Curme


Originally posted by curme

Ah, yes, the good old days. When you were forced to live by others belief's (ironic when you came to America for freedom) or got beaten or killed if you didn't. The christians don't own America. It's for everybody. If you don't like a place where people come to, so they can live free, and pursue their beliefs without getting persecuted, leave. America isn't run by white, male, slaveholders any more. We grew up.



I beg to differ with you but people who came to this country didn't have anything forced down on them. They were happy and proud to become part of the fabric of American culture. They held on to their ethnicity but were fully American. I think much of what we see today is an ingratitiude by many coming to this country. They don't want to become fully American but they sure like the freedoms they couldn't get in their home country.



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 07:34 PM
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You are right, CS, this is going to be an issue for a long time to come I'm afraid.

From an idealogical standpoint, I have to say I fully support anyone's right to practice their religion however they wish, be it Islam, Christian, or Pet Rock worship. However, from a practical standpoint, when that freedom starts interfering with the rights of others then society has to figure out where to draw the line, if a line must be drawn.

I must admit that I'm having a hard time coming to a solid opinion on this issue. One one hand, they have the right to worship, but on the other, I don't feel like that right extends to involving me in their 5 times daily self-hypnotism routine against my wishes. At least most Christian Churches limit it to one day per week, and I can certainly be that tolerant.

My feeling is that Islam will refuse to adapt to the needs of existing in a free culture and this problem will end up fostering deeper hatreds.



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 07:58 PM
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Originally posted by Ambient Sound
From an idealogical standpoint, I have to say I fully support anyone's right to practice their religion however they wish, be it Islam, Christian, or Pet Rock worship. However, from a practical standpoint, when that freedom starts interfering with the rights of others then society has to figure out where to draw the line, if a line must be drawn.

I must admit that I'm having a hard time coming to a solid opinion on this issue. One one hand, they have the right to worship, but on the other, I don't feel like that right extends to involving me in their 5 times daily self-hypnotism routine against my wishes. At least most Christian Churches limit it to one day per week, and I can certainly be that tolerant.

My feeling is that Islam will refuse to adapt to the needs of existing in a free culture and this problem will end up fostering deeper hatreds.


I have to admit my first impression was to tell you what a narrow minded person you are for saying that Islam must adapt to a free Christian society, but then I took another look at your post and decided you make a valid point. Christian churches are limiting bell ringing to special occassions and holidays in deference to their communities.

I also reminded myself that Islam didn't always have benefit of a PA system and the point of the call is to remind the faithful to pray. And what about those who don't live near a mosque, do they not pray since they do not hear the call? As a citizen or immigrant to this country we must attempt to accomodate each other and find common ground. Religons must be allowed to practice their beliefs. Would the situation be better served by allowing the PA call during "business hours" while toning it down early in the morning and later in the day? How does anyone win in this situation?



posted on May, 3 2004 @ 08:29 PM
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Bleys,
I think it's perfectly acceptable for a city to enact an ordinance that would limit the hours for any loudspeaker announcement (i.e. 8:00 am to 9:00 pm) or the length and frequency of each announcement as well as the measured decibel level. In doing this they're not discriminating against one group or another.

Ambient Sound,
I have to agree with your statement "My feeling is that Islam will refuse to adapt to the needs of existing in a free culture and this problem will end up fostering deeper hatreds. " Unfortunately I feel this way because of what I've observed myself.



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