Poll Results: Muslim Call to Prayer in Paterson, NJ

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A church bell with a mineret (Illustrative photo: Peakpx.com)
A church bell next to a minaret (Illustrative photo: Peakpx.com)

We recently published an article about how the City Council of Paterson, New Jersey approved an ordinance that allows local mosques to publicly broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. We then asked your opinion in a poll about the ordinance.

The ordinance specifically allows for the Muslim call to prayer (the azan or adhan), church bells, and “other reasonable means of announcing religious meetings between the hours of 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. for duration not to exceed five minutes.”

The ordinance will be subjected to two public hearings before becoming law.

Here are the results of our poll: Should the Muslim call to prayer be publicly broadcasted?

  • 94 percent said “no”
  • 6 percent said “yes”



In a nation that is founded on the principle of freedom of religion, forcing all citizens to listen to a loud, insistent and intrusive call to prayer for one particular religious group five times a day is anathema.

When church bells ring in Mecca.

Only a pleasant sound — like church bells — even a melodic hmmm — once a day tops and not too loud if you want to be equal. More than that forget it.

Five times per day is ridiculous. Besides it is noise pollution.

It will be a disturbance to public life as we know it.

Religious noises should be kept inside private buildings where it does not disturb other people.

I thought the limitations Qudosi suggested were very reasonable. A community ordinance should benefit the whole community, not promote the wants of one part of the community to the detriment of others.

Broadcast it by phone to those who want it. This is medieval and an unnecessary intrusion on the rights of others who do not want it.

Churches have done the same thing at times. It’s irritating. Church bells should not be broadcast either.
This is Dawah. A call to worship Allah.

Another step to implementing sharia law over civil law.

It’s an effort to convert through a kind of brainwashing.

This is an infringement on the rights of non-Muslims.

Once a week at a waking hour as are church bells could be acceptable. Five times daily, seven days a week is political not religious in the USA.

I do not think it is necessary. Do they not know when it is time for their prayers? It is a ridiculous item to even have on the agenda. Doesn’t Paterson have other pressing, important problems to solve?

Church bells were silenced in the early ‘70s. For all the same reasons, the call to prayer should not be broadcast. Passing an ordinance that also allows church bells as well, trying to seem “Inclusive,” is a regression of 50 years. We live in a secular, 24-hr-per-day society. The whole community does not rise and retire at the same time. If you are Muslim, and want a call to prayer at certain times of the day, an alarm on a cell phone with customized ring tones would work perfectly.

The day that Church bells can ring in Saudi Arabia is the day we can consider a reciprocal arrangement in the U.S.

We do NOT live in a Muslim country. This is unfair to those who are not Muslims. If it is approved, it will create a lot of anger toward Muslims.

They have no right to disturb the peace of a community.

Next comes Phase 2 of indoctrination and submission.

The First Amendment provides for the free expression of religious faith. It does not provide for the intrusion of a person’s faith into the lives of those with a different faith.

What happened to the separation of church and state?

Nor the church bells – never!

I say “no” because of the way I have experienced the call to prayer in Muslim countries I have lived in. A version that the author talks about, with limited duration and sound levels could be acceptable. The homes and businesses in the immediate area need to be consulted before going forward. For the record I wouldn’t want a recording of a five-minute Billy Graham sermon or some kind of “one minute with Jesus” broadcast from a Christian church either.

Why can’t the call to prayer be done once a day at a time that won’t impact those still trying to sleep or work?

Faith and prayer are personal, quiet. A time to be alone with God. Our prayers should be when we take this time with our Father, not a broadcasted interruption.

They should not be forcing this on people. One can refuse to visit or engage or see something religious, but to wear ear plugs is too much.

I frequently visit a city with several non-Muslim groups that broadcast what I assume are calls to prayer to the dismay of many people whose sleep is cut short. I believe that cities should work against allowing loud noise for any reason as it detracts from the quality of life of citizens and visitors.



How Loud Should a Muezzin’s Call Be?

Muslim Street Prayers: What Gives?

Prison Officials: Muslim Group Prayer Led to Gangs


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