In a move towards fostering inclusivity, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced new guidelines allowing mosques to freely broadcast the Muslim call to prayer. As reported by The Associated Press (AP), under these guidelines, mosques will no longer require a special permit to publicly broadcast the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, on Fridays and during sundown throughout the holy month of Ramadan.
Mayor Adams emphasized that these new rules are aimed at eliminating barriers for communities and promoting a more open atmosphere. He explained that the police department’s community affairs bureau will collaborate with mosques to ensure compliance with the guidelines, ensuring that the devices used for broadcasting the adhan are set at appropriate decibel levels. The mayor’s office specified that houses of worship can broadcast the adhan up to 10 decibels over the existing ambient sound level.
During a City Hall news conference, Mayor Adams was joined by Muslim leaders, where he stated, “For too long, there has been a feeling that our communities were not allowed to amplify their calls to prayer. 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.”
Adams’ announcement was met with enthusiasm from the Muslim community, with Somaia Ferozi, principal of the Ideal Islamic School in Queens, expressing her support. She noted that the sound of the adhan holds deep significance for students, reminding them of their identity. Ferozi added that the echoing adhan within a New York City neighborhood would help them feel acknowledged and part of a welcoming community.
This initiative aligns with Mayor Adams’ commitment to fostering connections with faith leaders from various traditions and his advocacy for the role of religion in public life. The move follows a similar development in Minneapolis last year, where officials allowed mosques to publicly broadcast the adhan, drawing attention to the importance of embracing religious diversity and creating an inclusive environment.