I said previously that I was going to come back to the debate about the Call to Prayer a Mosque in Michigan is trying to get played over loudspeakers. It has taken a few days but I am not going to let it lie…
Now, I am not an apologist for Islam or anything and I certainly do think the religion is the source of more dangerous crackpots than Christianity (albeit less entertaining ones). All imaginary friends are just as insane, and those who “devoutly” follow the teachings of their interstellar teapot deserve maximum ridicule. It is, therefore, with a heavy heart that in this instance I feel I may side with the Islamic nutcases. (Hopefully not..)
In a nutshell, a Bangladeshi Mosque has applied for permission to play the call to prayer over loudspeakers five times a day. Now, I would object to this. Why on Earth should I have to listen to some one else’s devotional wailings. This is not me being “anti-Islam.” I am not demanding they listen to Richard Dawkins five times a day… The people who run the Mosque are the ones wanting their beliefs to be forced upon others. It should also be noted that there are other Mosques in the area who haven’t asked for the call to be broadcast.
So far, I am very against the plans of this Mosque. Urban areas already have enough of a noise problem and adding to it (although I like the call to prayer) is a “BAD THINGâ„¢.”
Now, reading through the article on CBSNews makes me change my opinions a little. We get some comments from the Mosque:
“It takes only one minute â€” what is it, five times a day? Five minutes only â€” that’s all we are asking for,” Masud Khan told CBS News Correspondent Lee Cowan.
If only it were that simple. Just because the inconvenience is minimal does not make it “right.” If it is such a small thing, why do they want it? Can’t they telephone the faithful and tell them the prayer is on? Broadcast it over the Internet? Anything. Five one minute interruptions add up to more “annoyance” than a five minute interruption.
Next there came a bit I cant help but agree with:
Muslims figured it was no different than Christians ringing church bells which incidentally ring just across the street from the mosque five times a day, reports Cowan.
Actually, I agree. Cant have one rule for one and one rule for another can we?
If the Christians get away with noise pollution (and I suspect the bell ringing will last longer than a minute a time), why cant the Muslims? Why cant every one else? Do Rastafarians get to play loud music five times a day?
The good old Christian Tolerance kicks in eventually:
Joanne Golen, a lifelong Hamtramck resident, said she finds the content of the call to prayer offensive. “It says Allah is the one and only God. I am Christian. My God is Jesus Christ. That is my only objection â€” that I have to listen to a God other than the one I believe in praised five times a day,” said Golen, 68.
Really? It is nice of Ms Golen to solve that theological argument – however I am not convinced that saying “My God is Jesus Christ” is really a legitimate phrase. While it could be argued that the holy trinity means Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are one and the same, this is different. Still, the devout don’t need to know their religion in depth – they have FAITH.
Caroline Zarski, 81, said allowing the call would put Islam above other religions.
Really? Why? Are church bells banned? Aha, I hear you say:
Opponents take issue with that comparison, saying that church bells today are used to mark the time of day and have no religious significance. If the bells are the issue, then turn them off, they say.
Ok. Turn them off then. If they are stopped there are no grounds for the Muslims to get the call to prayer. If the bells continue, I can’t see what logical grounds can deny the Call to Prayer.