Authorities in the German city of Cologne have given mosques permission to broadcast call to prayer every Friday.
The decision was made after Cologne city officials and the Muslim community reached an agreement to broadcast prayers over loudspeakers on Friday afternoons.
The new initiative allows all mosques in Cologne to broadcast the call to prayer for five minutes between noon and 3pm on Friday.
Cologne’s mayor Henriette Reker said permitting prayers is a “sign of respect”. “It shows that diversity is appreciated and lived in Cologne,” Reker added.
City officials informed that mosques would be required to comply with limits on the volume of the loudspeakers while conducting the prayers and local authorities should be informed beforehand.
“If in addition to the sounds of the church bells we also hear the call of the muezzin, it shows that in Cologne diversity is valued and lived,” Reker said.
There are nearly 4.5 million Muslims in Germany with most of them reportedly from Turkey.
The new initiative is set to run for two years and will be re-evaluated later.
(With inputs from Agency)
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