Mosque call outrages Oxford

Muslim leaders have sparked outrage with plans to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer over the roof-tops of one of Britain’s most historic cities.

Elders at Oxford Central Mosque want to blast it out three times a day.

They have already discussed the controversial idea with council chiefs and are set to submit a formal application in the New Year.

But the move has been met with fury by people living near the mosque in Oxford — known as the city of dreaming spires.

They claim the two-minute call — to be broadcast over three large speakers — is noise pollution and offensive to other faiths.

Dr Allan Chapman said: “This has nothing to do with the Muslim faith. If this is allowed to go ahead it will be intrusive and distasteful.

“People will have no choice but to have this message rammed down their throats. My fear is that it will lead to anger and resentment.

“The area does not have a huge population of Muslims and this is grossly unfair on everyone else.”

Under the proposals, people living near the mosque would hear the call to prayer at lunchtime, mid-afternoon and sunset.

Mum-of-two Gillian Rigby, whose home backs on to the mosque, said: “It would definitely wake the children up. The baby obviously sleeps during the day so whatever time it is it’s going to have an effect on her sleeping.”

Student Caroline Barnes, 21, said: “This is a joke. I respect the Muslim religion but this is not a Muslim community, so what use is this? All it will do is anger local residents and make them less tolerant of the religion and the mosque.”

Fellow student Adrian Kerslake, 20, added: “It would be unbearable.”

Elders at the mosque, which attracts congregations of up to 700, admit the call to prayer will not attract any more worshippers, but say it is a matter of tradition.

Persecution of Christians by Muslims

Spokesman Sadar Rana said yesterday: “In Islamic countries Christian people are allowed to ring bells in churches as a call to prayer and we never have arguments with that.

“We are part of the United Kingdom and because of that we feel that we should be allowed to keep with tradition.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday December 27, 2007.
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