Cologne, MINA – The Great Mosque of Cologne and 35 other mosques were allowed to broadcast the call to prayer by loudspeakers.
The permit is an agreement between the Cologne City Council and the Muslim Community, Ihram.co.id reported on Tuesday.
Cologne’s largest Grand Mosque in Germany has become a flashpoint for anti-Muslim sentiment from far-right parties. Having been partially financed by donations from the Turkish government’s religious affairs authority in Germany (DITIB), the mosque has also been a major source of debate since its construction.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan even officially inaugurated the mosque himself during a controversial visit to Germany in September 2018.
Meanwhile, the decision to allow the call to prayer was welcomed by the city’s Muslim community, it has drawn criticism on social media. Over the weekend, Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker defended the policy.
“There has been a lot of discussion about the #Muezzin-Ruf project (Muslim call). Cologne is a city of freedom and [religious] diversity,” Reker said on Twitter as reported by DW on Tuesday.
“Those who arrive at the main train station are greeted by the cathedral and accompanied by church bells.Many of Cologne’s residents are Muslim. Allowing the call to prayer for me is a sign of respect,” he added.
About 4.5 million Muslims live in Germany, which is the country’s largest religious minority group. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)