Source: Straits Times
BERLIN (REUTERS) – A mosque in northwest Germany may no longer broadcast its Friday midday call to prayer by loudspeaker for now after a local court upheld a challenge by a couple who live nearly 1km away.
The Gelsenkirchen administrative court found that the town of Oer-Erkenschwick had not assessed the local Muslim community’s request properly in 2013, but a court spokesman said on Friday (Feb 2) that this did not prevent the mosque making a new application for a permit for the prayer calls.
The local Christian couple had argued that the call to prayers violated their own religious rights.
Anti-Muslim sentiment and support for anti-immigration policies are growing in many parts of Germany after the influx of well over a million migrants from Iraq, Syria and other mostly Muslim countries, beginning in 2015.
Huseyin Turgut, a senior official with the affected mosque, said the court’s decision was disappointing.
“The call to prayer lasts for two minutes, just around 1pm, but only on Fridays,” he said. “We’ve never had any complaints and we have German neighbours who are much closer – just 10 metres away.”
The town’s administration could not immediately be reached for comment.