New York mosques can now broadcast the adhan
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has issued new guidance allowing mosques to broadcast the adhan more freely in city.
It means the 'The Big Apple' now joins other cities, including Minneapolis, in allowing mosques to publicly play the call to prayer.
Under the new rules, masjids can broadcast the call to prayer every Friday during Jumuah and Maghrib prayers in Ramadan.
The mayor's press release said the efforts represent "a historic step forward" to foster a city that respects all faith.
"For too long, there has been a feeling that our communities were not allowed to amplify their calls to prayer," said Mayor Adams.
"Today, we are cutting red tape and saying clearly that mosques and houses of worship are free to amplify their call to prayer on Fridays and during Ramadan without a permit necessary.
"We want our brothers and sisters of Muslim faith to know that they are free to live their faith in New York City because, under the law, we will all be treated equally. Our administration is proud to finally get this done."
New York City has the highest Muslim population in the US — a quarter of all Muslims in the US live in New York City.
According to a 2018 study, there are over 750,000 Muslims in the city, which accounts for approximately 9% of its total population. The city has more mosques than any other state.
Muslims welcome the initiative
"As someone who grew up in Egypt and hearing the call of prayer my entire life, I truly missed its beauty and peaceful reminder to take a moment and appreciate what you have," said Imam Abdullah Salem, Muslim Community Center of Brooklyn. "I am so grateful to be able to hear it again here in my own city."
Somaia Ferozi, principal ofIdeal Islamic School, said: "As a principal of an Islamic school, I see my students struggling to maintain their identity as a Muslim. Many are afraid to share it, and the rest are hesitant.
"For them to hear the call of prayer in public during our holiest days will affirm to them that this is their city, and they have the right to worship like everyone else."
The police department's community affairs bureau and Muslim leaders will work with mosques to communicate the new guidelines and ensure devices used to broadcast the adhan are set to appropriate decibel levels.
Houses of worship can broadcast up to 10 decibels over the ambient sound level, the mayor's office said.
In April, Minneapolis made history by becoming the first major US city to allow mosques to publicly broadcast the call to prayer five times a day.
In the past, the city's noise regulations prohibited some morning and evening calls to prayer due to them taking place at night. But the Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution that amended the city's noise ordinance.
It means the call to prayer can be as early as 3.30am and as late as 11pm in the summer. The city had allowed year-round broadcast of the adhan last year but with time restrictions from 7am to 10pm.