Minneapolis to make history with Muslim call to prayer action
Minneapolis is poised to allow mosques to broadcast Muslim prayer calls five times a day.
Why it matters: This change would make Minneapolis the first major U.S. city to explicitly allow the full set of broadcasts all year, according to the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN).
Driving the news: The city council will vote Thursday on an ordinance that would expand when the prompts to pray, known as adhans, can be played via outdoor speakers.
State of play: Local mosques can already use amplified sound to play the announcements between 7am and 10pm.
- A 2022 resolution confirmed that the adhans can be broadcast year-round.
Yes, but: Religious leaders say the time restrictions curtailed the reminders for early morning prayers, per the Star Tribune. Evening prayers were also left out for much of the year.
- The proposed ordinance would change that by removing language restricting the amplified sound overnight from city code.
Zoom out: Public broadcasts of the adhan are common in Muslim-majority nations but remain rare in the U.S.
- The Detroit suburbs of Dearborn and Hamtramck and Paterson, New Jersey have practices and policies similar to the one proposed in Minneapolis.
What they're saying: CAIR-MN executive director Jaylani Hussein told Axios the change "sends a message to the world that freedom of religion is practiced here."
- He hopes to see other U.S. cities follow Minneapolis' lead.
What to expect: Hussein said he anticipates that three to four local mosques, including one at a popular Somali mall, will join the two that already regularly broadcast the adhan once the ordinance takes effect.
Flashback: Minneapolis temporarily allowed around-the-clock prayer call broadcasts in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in 2020, when the pandemic prevented Muslim residents from going to the mosque in person during Ramadan.
What's next: Mayor Jacob Frey supports the proposal and intends to sign if it passes the council, a spokesperson told Axios.
Go deeper: An increasing number of U.S. school districts now observe Ramadan