Time out for Allah

The Hamtranck controversy
Allahu akbar—“God is great!” Thus begins the sonorous Arabic chant that is worrying the citizens of Hamtramck, a mostly immigrant urban community of 23,000 near Detroit. In April the Hamtramck City Council voted unanimously to amend a noise ordinance so that the al-Islah Islamic Center, one of seven mosques that serve a growing Muslim population in what was once a Polish Catholic enclave, can broadcast the call to prayer five times a day by loudspeaker. As of this writing, however, opposition from some longtime residents may silence the loudspeaker until the matter is brought to a citywide vote. Meanwhile, white supremacist groups on the outside are making Hamtramck a cause célèbre, and unfortunately there is no noise ordinance to silence their fear-mongering.

 

This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $4.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.