Some Muslims in Sweden want to be able to broadcast public calls to prayer throughout the country. They have already succeeded in obtaining permission for this in three cities — Botkyrka, Karlskrona and Växjö. “We want to have calls to prayer in more places. There are many Muslims who are Swedish citizens, who have the same rights as everyone else” said Avdi Islami, Press Officer of the Växjö Muslim Foundation, after the police recently gave permission for the Växjö mosque to make a roughly 4-minute-long prayer call every Friday around noon.
A March poll of 1,000 Swedes showed that a majority of Swedes — 60 percent — are against public Muslim calls to prayer.
“We do not consider the contents of the loudspeaker broadcast, but [only] the potential noise that it makes,” said Magnus Rothoff, unit commander of the southern Swedish police region, in explaining the decision-making process of the police.
“Therefore, we chose to refer it to the municipality’s environmental management, where there is expertise on the [noise] level that should apply. Then we came to the conclusion that we are not disturbed to the extent that one can make a different decision than to approve.”
The municipality also did not consider the content of the call to prayer.