First major US city, Minneapolis, has approved the use of loudspeakers to play all five adhans, or Muslim calls to prayer.
Despite current noise regulations, the Minneapolis City Council voted 12-0 on Thursday night to let the adhan to be played from mosques. The ruling, according to the Muslim advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Minnesota, “is a historic victory for religious freedom and pluralism.”
“We thank the members of the Minneapolis City Council for setting this great example, and we urge other cities to follow it,” CAIR’s state director Jaylani Hussein said in a statement praising the choice.
The council had been encouraged to support the measure by CAIR.
The adhan, which is a call to prayer, is issued by a muezzin at dawn, noon, midday, nightfall, and again later at night. Observant Muslims must pray five times daily. The Arabic phrase for “God is great” is “Allahu Akbar,” which the speaker frequently chants.
According to CBS News, Minneapolis last year set restrictions on the adhan’s recitation schedule and volume level. Mosques can now recite the adhan between 3:30 and 11:00 p.m.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that city mayor Jacob Frey will sign the bill into law within a week.