The Muslim call to prayer can now be heard several times a day in one of the biggest cities in the US Midwest.
The call to prayer, also known as the adhan or azan, can be played by local mosques in the city of Minneapolis, the largest in the state of Minnesota.
The city council approved a bill, presented by council member Jamal Osman, allowing the prayer to be played publicly by loudspeaker between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., so long as local noise ordinances are respected.
Calling the measure a step in the right direction for religious equality, Osman said, "We have a lot of work still to do to make sure everyone is enjoying the same rights, every religion is enjoying.”
Under the measure, mosques will be able to make the call the prayer by loudspeaker three times a day, except for morning and night prayers, provided that the volume is below a certain decibel limit.
“The Adhan is one of the most important parts of our faith,” Osman wrote on Twitter, adding that the call can be made at the same hours allowed for Christian church bells.
He called the move “a signal of the equality and community we have built here. This is America and we are allowed to share our faith from the rooftops, just like everyone else.”
The call to prayer was first legalized in the US in 2004 in the city of Hamtramck, Michigan, by a decision of the local government, followed by Dearborn, the only US city in the same state where Muslims are a majority.
The city council of Paterson, New Jersey, where nearly 30,000 Muslims live, was the third city to pass a measure authorizing the call to prayer, in March 2020.
* Writing by Seda Sevencan