The German city of Cologne announced today, Monday, that the largest mosque in Germany will be allowed to raise the call to prayer for Friday prayers through loudspeakers, in an agreement between the city and the Muslim community, which provides for easing restrictions; According to the agency “Reuters”.
Not only that, the city will allow all 35 mosques to hold the Friday call to prayer for up to 5 minutes, according to a two-year initiative.
The initiative includes the Cologne Central Mosque, which opened in 2018, which later turned into a focus of tension and exacerbated anti-Muslim sentiments by right-wing extremists, especially after the massive influx of asylum seekers between 2015 and 2016.
“Allowing the call of the muezzin is for me a sign of respect. It shows that pluralism is a reality that is lived and valued in Cologne,” Cologne Mayor Henriette Reeker said in a tweet.
She added that the call to prayer joins the bells of Cologne Cathedral, which is the largest Gothic church in northern Europe, noting that these sounds will be heard by those who reach the main railway station in the city.
Earlier this year, Germany announced a program to prepare imams with the aim of reducing the number of Muslim preachers from abroad, with 40 men and women taking on this task over two years at the Islam Institute in Osnabrück in the northwest of the country.