In many places, the call for Islamic prayer, azan, will be heard for the first time in Cologne in Germany on Friday. The municipality has decided to allow this for two years on the Islamic Day of Prayer (Friday).
Mayor Henriette Reker calls the project “a sign of mutual acceptance of religion” and according to “the constitutionally protected freedom of religion”, according to the Rheinische Post newspaper. She stressed that Muslims are an integral part of Colognes society. “Anyone who doubts this question questions Colognes identity and our peaceful coexistence,” says Reker.
Cologne is one of Germanys largest cities and has long been the centre of the large Turkish-German community. The municipality itself is home to approximately 1.1 million people of whom there are estimated to be more than 130,000 Muslims.
The call to ritual prayer is usually spoken from a minaret by a muezzin. He may not call the faithful in Cologne for more than 10 minutes and there are agreements with the mosques where the call is scattered, on the maximum noise level.