Muslim Calls To Prayer Turn Into Political Discrimination


What happens when the publicly broadcast Muslim call to prayer, turns into preaching political discrimination?  (video below)

Due to COVID 19, many mosques across Canada applied to their local municipalities asking for the ability to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer from very large loudspeakers attached to their buildings.  The calls to prayer make up the Salat and consist of the following:  (1) Fajr – the dawn prayer (2) Dhuhr – the early afternoon prayer (3) Asr – the late afternoon prayer (4) Maghrib – the sunset prayer (5) Isha’a – the night prayer.  Muslims are called to prayer with what is called the Adhan.  “The Arabic word adhan means “to listen.  “The ritual serves as a general statement of shared belief and faith for Muslims, as well as an alert that prayers are about to begin inside the mosque. A second call, known as iqama, then summons Muslims to line up for the beginning of the prayers.”

Arabic transliteration of the Adhan is as follows:

Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah. Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah.
Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah. Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah.
Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah. Hayya ‘ala-s-Salah.
Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah. Hayya ‘ala-l-Falah.
Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
La ilaha illa Allah. 

The English translation of the adhan is: 

God is Great! God is Great! God is Great! God is Great!
I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.
I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.
Hurry to the prayer. Hurry to the prayer.
Hurry to salvation. Hurry to salvation.
God is Great! God is Great!
There is no god except the One God. 

Why is the Muslim call to prayer being broadcast now throughout Canadian cities? 

The argument made for broadcasting this call to prayer publicly over loudspeakers throughout the cities is due to Ramadan, the COVID 19 crises and the inability for Muslims to gather at the Mosque.  The Star reports – Mississauga Imam Nafis Bhayat, who is head imam at Jame Masjid, said: that the call to prayer is a reminder to Muslims to stop what they are doing and make preparations for prayer.  “It will help them stay connected, because a lot of the times when we are at home, we get involved in some stuff and we forget the prayer timing,” 

This public broadcast call to prayer is new to Canada in 2020, so what have Muslims done prior to this making it possible to prepare for prayer time?  Muslims around the world use apps on their smartphones alerting them to accurate prayer times.  One of the most popular of these apps is called Muslim Globe.  Not only does it provide accurate alerts for prayer, but even provides compass for finding correct direction to be facing during prayer.   

Are these measures temporary? 

Reports from many mainstream news agencies in Canada say that these public call to prayer measures are meant to be temporary and will stop at the end of Ramadan.  But is this what Ontario Imams want?  Mohsin Abbas, a Canadian journalist, wrote an article for BBC World.  Abbas states: “This permission will only apply to the Maghrib Adhan (Sunset call to Prayer) during Ramadan. However, the administrators and imams of these mosques are hoping that they may be allowed to offer five prayers in the near future.”  Irsad Bala, a board member at the Abu Bakar Grand Mosque in the Scarborough area of ​​Toronto, said: 

“When his mosque administration emailed his local councilor for permission, he was immediately granted permission by the local municipal committee.  Expressing happiness, he said that getting permission for Azan was not a difficult task and he never thought that it would be so easy.  People are very happy. This is our good fortune and we are very grateful to our counselor.  Loudspeakers have been installed around these mosques so that the call to prayer can be heard from afar. This permit is still limited to the month of Ramadan.  Irsad Bala expressed the wish that this permission would be maintained even after the month of Ramadan.”

“Shiraz Mohammed, imam of the Medina Mosque on Dan Fourth Avenue in downtown Toronto, said in an interview that the mosque’s management was of the opinion that the lockdown should somehow keep the spirit of Ramadan alive. May greatness be maintained.  We went to our local councilor, Paula Fletcher, and she helped with all the supplies, and we got a permit from the city of Toronto.”“”Irsad Bala said that after Ramadan, he would see that if the local community did not have any complaints, they would be willing to make the call to prayer permanent, taking care of their rights.  “No hate incidents have taken place yet,” he said. “If we don’t make a fuss, hopefully nothing shocking will happen.””

Arab News reported

Hassan Ahmed, a former resident of Riyadh who now lives in Mississauga, and usually attends the Al-Falah and Muslim Neighbour Nexis mosques, believes the sounding of the call to prayer should not bother his fellow Canadians too much.

“The church bells that are heard on Sundays don’t infringe on my rights as a Muslim, and the call to prayer, which is temporary, just for one month because of these extreme circumstances, doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights — it won’t really impact anyone’s day to day,” he said.

“There’s a sense of belonging and community that the mosque gives. With physical and social distancing measures in place Muslims can’t get that, so this is just a small step toward filling that void.”

“Some fear the backlash to the call to prayer ruling is a sign that Islamophobic sentiment might be ignited at a time where the pandemic has already caused great instability and unrest. But Saya and Ahmed are confident that those protesting the decision represent only a tiny segment of Canadian society.

“Hate groups will always be around to incite this type of prejudice,” said Saya. “Yes, it will bring about heated discussions and online forum wars but will eventually die down. Canadians generally are not too concerned about this.”

What happens when the Muslim call to prayer becomes a tool of politicization and discrimination?

An example of this kind of politicization and discrimination was recently on display in a Toronto community and has been publicly brought to light and called out by Tarek Fatah. A Toronto Muslim in the video below, uses the call to prayer time being loudly broadcast through the community, to preach against Palestinian occupation as well as boycotting Zionists (Jews) and reminding Muslims that they are not to do business with Zionists (Jews). How is this acceptable in a country like Canada? Where is Doug Ford and Justin Trudeau speaking out against this kind of public political discrimination?

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