NJ city moving toward allowing Muslim calls to prayer via loudspeaker
PATERSON — A proposal that would allow mosques in the city to make public prayer announcements using loudspeakers is poised to clear a first hurdle.
At the last regular City Council meeting on Feb. 11, City Councilman Shahin Khalique introduced the changes to existing noise regulations. The proposed ordinance is scheduled for first reading Tuesday night.
As reported by The Paterson Times, the ordinance would permit a call to prayer, church bells "and other reasonable means of announcing religious meetings, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., for a maximum of five minutes at a time."
According to the Islamic Center of Passaic County, the city is home to "one of the largest Muslim communities in the U.S." with a congregant base of more than 25,000 people.
There are at least 12 mosques in the city, according to Google Maps.
Mosques in Paterson currently make the call to prayer five times a day, but the announcement is not heard outside the buildings, according to AboutIslam.net.
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