Battles Over Islamic Call to Prayer Continue in South Africa

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

MAY 13, 2019

Or rather, specifically, Cape Town.

Barack Obama called it the “prettiest sound on earth”. But even if it were, few people would appreciate having it blasted out at 5 in the morning while they’re trying to sleep.

But in Cape Town, the battle between elderly people trying to sleep, mosque loudspeakers and media activists jumping to the defense of the loudspeakers continues.

Here’s the latest incident.

“JOHANNESBURG – The Islamic call to prayer can be heard five times a day in cities and towns the world over.

In Cape Town, a resident has complained that the call is “too noisy”.

Members of the Muslim community are incensed that a formal investigation will now be pursued.

The investigation that will take place after the holy month of Ramadaan, will include a sound test to measure if the athaan is within by-laws limits.

But the city says education and tolerance are key.

Those who’ve been attending mosque here for over a decade, say the complaint is both silly and dangerous.

“I think it’s silly you know because some people that are not Muslim they appreciate the sound that comes from the calls to prayer. JUMP If they do get it right at one mosque, they are going to start it everywhere, this is the danger of it,” said Abdurahman Jattem.

Few people appreciate wailing in a foreign language through massive loudspeakers early in the morning. Proposed alternatives have included radio broadcasts, phone calls and even WhatsApp.

Loudspeakers are loud and disruptive. Especially when the elderly are trying to sleep. The media response has generally been some variation of “Shut up and learn to appreciate it.”

Here’s another Cape Town noise nuisance story from 5 months ago.

The Rest…HERE

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