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Islamization: Muezzins in Cologne will be allowed to call for Friday prayers

Cologne - The city of Cologne has started a model project through which mosque communities can in future call their believers to Friday prayers. "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 Mayor Henriette Reker on Thursday evening.

"I am pleased to be able to set a sign of mutual acceptance of religion and to make a commitment to the constitutionally protected freedom of religion," she added. Muslims are an "integral part of Cologne's urban society," emphasized the politician. "Anyone who doubts this is questioning Cologne's identity and our peaceful coexistence."

Critic: ringing bells and calling muezzins are not comparable
The model project is therefore initially limited to two years. Interested mosque communities must submit an application. The conditions should be individually adapted and stipulated in a contract. The muezzin call may only be made between noon and 3 p.m. and for a maximum of five minutes. The volume is also regulated differently depending on the location of the mosque. After two years, the project should be evaluated and a decision should be made as to whether the model project could result in a permanent regulation.

The question of whether or not a muezzin can publicly call out to prayer is a constant source of heated debates. Green and left-wing politicians in particular are repeatedly calling for appropriate advances. In Hesse, the state government decided in winter that muezzin calls could also be made without permission.

Critics, on the other hand, regularly point out that the Islamic call to prayer cannot be compared with the ringing of church bells, because the muezzin call is a sung creed.

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