Two mosques apply for call to prayer permit in Cologne


Central Europe


Photo EPA, Yahya Arhab

Two mosques in Cologne formally requested permission to sound a muezzin call over the speakers.

One of them is a central mosque of the Turkish Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion in the Ehrenfeld District (DITIB), a spokesman of Cologne says to Idea. The other application came from a municipality from the part of the city on the right side of the Rhine.

During a two-year-long pilot project in Cologne, mosques will be allowed to sound out the call of the Friday prayer for five minutes a week. The call is only permitted if a congregation has requested official permission.

Depending on the mosque's location, there are a few restrictions on the muezzin call. For example, the neighbourhood should be informed, and there is a limit for the speakers' volume.

No decision has yet been made on the two applications that the city has received thus far. A city spokesman says to Idea that essential documents for the examination, such as noise reports, are still missing. Therefore, the spokesman cannot say when decisions can be expected.

However, the pilot project is not undisputed. Liberal Muslims and local politicians are worried that allowing the prayer call will encourage the spread of political Islam.

Former chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, has not expressed any concerns about the call. He said during an interview in October 2021 that if the muezzin call is "seen in Cologne as an integral part of religious life, then there is nothing to be said against it."



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