(CTN News) – In a significant move toward religious inclusivity, New York City authorities have permitted mosques to broadcast the Friday Azan, the Islamic call to prayer, between 12:30pm and 1:30pm without needing a permit. The call to prayer can also be broadcast during the evenings throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) recently issued this guidance, emphasizing that the Azan is not prohibited despite existing sound restrictions in various neighborhoods.
Welcomed by the Muslim Community:
This groundbreaking decision has been warmly received by Muslim leaders, who view it as a step toward enabling more convenient and unrestricted practice of their faith.
Imam Shamsi Ali, the president of the Islamic Center of New York, expressed his satisfaction, stating that this development eliminates fears of harassment or discrimination while practicing religious rituals.
The new guidance serves as a sign of New York City’s commitment to fostering a more welcoming environment for its Muslim residents.
Over recent years, the city has actively worked to increase the number of mosques and Islamic schools, as well as to streamline access to halal food options. These efforts underline the city’s dedication to supporting the needs of its diverse religious communities.
Volume Regulations for Azan Broadcasts
While the new guidance grants mosques the privilege to broadcast the Azan, it is important to note that certain limitations still apply. For instance, the call volume should not be excessively loud or disruptive to the peace of the neighborhoods.
These restrictions aim to strike a balance between religious expression and community harmony. Nonetheless, the issuance of this guidance signifies a significant stride forward for New York City’s Muslim community.
The development of this new guidance was the culmination of years of persistent efforts by Muslim leaders to amend the city’s sound regulations. A notable instance was a lawsuit filed by a group of Muslim leaders 2018, asserting that the sound laws encroached upon their religious freedom.
The resolution of this lawsuit in 2022 marked a turning point, with the city agreeing to revise its guidelines and allow mosques to broadcast the Adhan without requiring a permit.
While this victory is certainly a cause for celebration, Muslim leaders remain committed to further improving the conditions for mosques to operate within the city.
Their ongoing efforts include initiatives to enhance public awareness regarding the Azan’s significance and the Muslim faith’s tenets. By fostering understanding and dialogue, they aim to strengthen unity and coexistence among the diverse communities that call New York City home.
The permission granted to mosques in New York City to broadcast the Azan without a permit is a triumph for religious freedom and cultural diversity. This milestone reflects the city’s dedication to creating an environment where various faiths can thrive harmoniously.
As Muslim leaders continue their endeavors to facilitate the practice of their faith and promote interfaith understanding, New York City’s journey toward inclusivity and acceptance gains momentum.