Muslims win call to prayer court battle in German town

German Muslims
About five million Muslims live in Germany [File: Martin Meissner/AP)

A German court on Wednesday rejected an application to silence the muezzin’s call from a mosque in a small town after a legal dispute lasting five years.

The Turkish Islamic community (Ditib) may now once again use a loudspeaker to call the faithful to prayer in the town of Oer-Erkenschwick in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Local residents lodged a complaint in 2015 against the relevant permit, which allowed the Muslim community to use the loudspeaker for at most 15 minutes between noon and 2pm on a Friday.

The call to prayer fell silent for five years on account of the complaint, lodged by a couple living about 900 metres (984 yards) from the mosque, who said their freedom of religion was impinged upon by the sound.

The court, which sits in Muenster, rejected their argument.

“Every society must accept that one will sometimes be aware that others exercise their faith,” presiding judge Annette Kleinschnittger said.

As long as no one was forced to practise their religion, there were no grounds for complaint, she ruled.

Source: DPA