Germany’s largest mosque will be allowed to call on prayer on Friday afternoon through loudspeakers. This came after an agreement between the municipal authorities in Cologne and the Muslim community to ease the restrictions, the municipal authorities said, quoted by Reuters.
On Fridays, all 35 mosques in Cologne will be able to offer up to a five-minute call to prayer between 12:00 and 15:00, as part of a two-year pilot project. One of these mosques will be and
the central mosque in cologne, which opened in 2018 after becoming the focus of far-right anti-Muslim sentiment, especially in the context of the 2015-2016 refugee influx. “Resolving the muezzin’s call is a sign of respect for me “, Cologne Mayor Henriette Recker wrote on Twitter.
The call for prayer will join the bells of Cologne Cathedral – the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe – as a sound that those arriving at the city’s main train station will hear, she said.
“This shows that in Cologne, diversity is valued and alive.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally opened the mosque in 2018.
During the controversy over the construction of the grand mosque, his supporters reassured the public that it would not regularly address its call for prayer or call to prayer, which is heard five times a day in Muslim countries. Municipal officials said mosques wishing to make the call on Friday afternoon would have to comply with the volume limits of their speakers and notify their neighbors in advance.
About 4.5 million Muslims live in Germany, the largest religious minority group.
Photo: The Grand Mosque in Cologne © Associated Press.