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Minneapolis Council OKs Mosques To Broadcast Public Call To Prayer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Mosques in Minneapolis will now be able to broadcast the "Adhan," or public call for prayer, multiple times each day.

In a move pushed for by Councilmember Jamal Osman, mosques will not need to apply for permits to broadcast outside their doors if noise ordinances are followed.

"This is huge. This is huge to many people who call Minneapolis home," Osman said.

Prior to the change, many members of Minneapolis' Muslim community relied on alarms and timers to know the proper time to pray – a practice done five times throughout each day.

"In our faith, it is obligatory," said Yusuf Abdulle, executive director of the Islamic Association of North America.

The Adhan, which uses repeated phrases such as "Allahu Akbar," meaning "God is great" will allow for Muslims near the mosque to know prayer time is soon to arrive.

"It is a dealbreaker for Muslims. It is really, extremely important" Abdulle said. "When you hear the Adhan, and you're home, or in your office, or wherever you are, you know it's the time. You don't need to look at the time. You go and get ready and go to the prayer."

While mosques are now able to broadcast outside their doors, Osman says there will be some limitations – the call will be kept to 70 decibels or less and will not be broadcast during prayers both early in the morning and late at night.

Abdulle says mosque leaders plan to work with neighbors ahead of the change. Osman says the change is a step in the right direction for religious equality.

"The city of Minneapolis is a welcoming city," Osman said. "We have a lot of work still to do to make sure everyone is enjoying the same rights, every religion is enjoying. This is a great step."

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