In Cologne, not only churches will soon be acoustically perceptible. As part of a model project, mosque communities are allowed to request a call to prayer. Mayor Reker sees this as a sign of “lived diversity”.
In Cologne, the call of a muezzin will be heard in some places on Fridays. The cathedral city has started a model project, initially limited to two years, within the framework of which mosque communities can apply for the call to prayer subject to certain conditions. Mayor Henriette Reker sees it as a “sign of mutual acceptance of religion” and a “commitment to the constitutionally protected freedom of religion”.
“When we hear the call of the muezzin in addition to the church bells in our city, it shows that diversity is valued and lived in Cologne,” said the non-party politician. “Anyone who doubts this is questioning Cologne’s identity and our peaceful coexistence. Muslim fellow citizens are an” integral part of Cologne’s urban society “.
The requirements include that the call to prayer may only be made between 12 and 15 and last no longer than five minutes. A maximum limit applies to the volume, which is determined depending on the location of the mosque. Each municipality must also name a contact person who will answer questions from the neighborhood and receive possible complaints.
Calls to prayer from mosque communities regularly spark discussions in Germany. In the Ruhr area town of Oer-Erkenschwick, the muezzin is already calling since 2014 via loudspeaker to prayer. A resident took legal action against it. In the first instance he won, in the appeal the city was right. In Düren, also in North Rhine-Westphalia, the calls of a local mosque have been heard every day for 20 years.