Thursday, May 27, 2004

Call to Prayer Starts Tomorrow in Hamtramck MI

For those who haven't been keeping up with this story, a summary. A mosque in Hamtramch MI, a small city inside Detriot, asked the City Council for an exemption to the noise ordinance to allow them to announce the call to prayer 5 times a day over loudspeakers. The exemption passed unanimously.

Local citizen, understandably pissed off about this, started a petition to force the Council to reconsider. They easily got enough signatures. Early this week they submitted the petition to the City Council. The Council reaffirmed its support for the exemption. Now the issue goes on a city-wide ballot for a vote. In the meanwhile the subject of the exemption in question, the Al-Islah mosque, is supposed to cease from the loudspeaker prayer. Nope. The mosque says it will start the call to prayer over loudspeakers tomorrow.

This should get more attention than it does. Last week the Dept of Justice sided with a 12 year old girl in Oklahoma who wanted to wear the hijad to school despite the fact that the dress code prohibited hat and head covering. Now the call to prayer. Always a exception or an exemption or some for of "special accomdation" for their religion.

Try applying for an exemption to a noise ordinance for a non-religious purpose. Good freaking luck. Try applying for an exemption to the school dress code for a non-religious reason.

To put it plainly - this sucks. Watch for more developments tomorrow.


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