Muslim group urges Paterson to pass measure allowing Islamic call to prayer | Paterson Times

Muslim group urges Paterson to pass measure allowing Islamic call to prayer


The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil liberties organization in the U.S., on Tuesday afternoon urged members of the City Council to pass the proposed ordinance allowing mosques to broadcast the adhan or Islamic call to prayer.

“The Islamic call to prayer is an integral aspect of a Muslim’s five daily prayers. Like church bells, it summons worshipers to enter the prayer space, to turn one’s body, mind and spirit toward God,” said Selaedin Maksut, executive director for the New Jersey chapter. “We applaud Paterson officials for taking this admirable step toward inclusion and encourage them to pass the proposed ordinance. Their open-mindedness to such laws is a concrete demonstration of respect and mutual understanding between the residents of our rich and diverse communities.”

Council members will consider the ordinance for preliminary approval on Tuesday night.

Some council members said they received numerous phone calls and emails to oppose the measure.

“I believe in letting people worship how, where, or what they may, if any, all according to their personal beliefs,” said Stephen Bauer, who has lived in Paterson for 18 years, in an email to the mayor and council members. “Amending the Paterson Noise Control Ordnance to accommodate public calls to Prayer 5 times daily, 7 days a week, 365 days a year is unreasonable and imposing.”

Under the ordinance, mosques will be allowed to use loudspeakers to announce the call to prayer during a 16-hour span. The ordinance states: “The city shall permit ‘Adhan’, call to prayer’, ‘church bells’ and other reasonable means of announcing religious meetings to be amplified between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. for duration not to exceed five minutes.”

Councilman Shahin Khalique introduced the measure last Tuesday. Council president Maritza Davila asked if there was any opposition to the measure after a three-minute discussion. None of her colleagues opposed the measure.

Some council members, prompted by the phone calls and emails, appear to be shifting their stance.

Councilman Luis Velez wanted the vote on the measure postponed after Bauer’s email on Tuesday morning. He changed his mind after speaking with Khalique in the afternoon. He said Khalique is presenting a revised version of the ordinance tonight.

“I want to hear from the community,” said councilwoman Lilisa Mimms. She said council members should have a thorough discussion before passing the measure.

Mimms said she has received phone calls from people urging her to oppose the measure.

Mayor Andre Sayegh has struck a neutral tone on the measure. He has said he would like to hear from residents on the ordinance.

Paterson has approximately 30,000 Muslims. It has a dozen mosques scattered throughout the city. Presently, mosques make the call to prayer five times a day; however, the sound is not amplified outside the buildings.

Late last year, Khalique, who is up for reelection in May, promised local leaders he planned to introduce the measure modeled on an ordinance in effect in Hamtramck, Mich. At the time, Khalique said he had been in discussions with other members of the City Council to get the measure passed. Khalique has styled himself as a pious and devout Muslim amongst his mostly Bengali-American supporters. He suffered a blow to his image earlier in the month when it was revealed he had been arrested for intoxicated driving by New Jersey State Police in 2010. Some of his critics say he is attempting to burnish his image by getting the measure passed.

Council members will consider the ordinance for preliminary approval at 7 p.m. at City Hall. If it passes, a public hearing and final vote will be held at a later date.

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  • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

    Khalique is a fraud. He's a drink driving alcoholic cokehead who eats pork. CAIR is a terrorist front group. This is how it starts. The ultimate goal is Sharia law enforced by Muslim patrols like they have in Brooklyn and Dearborn Michigan. If they see you with alcohol they harass you, if they see you holding hands with someone they will ask you if you are married if you are not they will slap you around, and if you engage in homoerotic activities they will throw you off of a roof. What the hell is wrong with this country ?

    • shakib alam

      Everything that you just mentioned is what is portrayed in the media. Perhaps if you took out the time to research about those you are hating, maybe you would have a different outlook. Don't be a sheep brother. Learn to think for yourself. What does our beloved president Donald Trump say about the media? That's right, FAKE NEWS

      • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

        I served in Afghanistan. I saw the little boys dancing dressed up like women and wearing makeup. And gays are thrown off roofs. The liberal media in America covers up the crimes carried out in the name of Islam so don't go there.

        • shakib alam

          Oh So you are a soldier? Why not shed some light on the innocent killings of civilians and bystanders? How many innocent have you killed?! How many civilians were brushed under the dirt classified as casualties?!

          • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

            Innocent Muslim is an oxymoron. Bunch of backwards barbarian perverts who like little boys and sheep.

          • shakib alam

            Hmmm, seems like you forgot to answer the question

          • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

            I did. Now go eat a pork chop.

          • John

            Since you are against the foundation of this country then go back to your savage people

  • Andres Rodriguez

    If they approve it, it will be a disaster because they will have to compete with the cars that have speakers with loud music

  • John


  • John

    Article states mosque currently dont broadcast over their speakers. This is a Muslim lie. At least the downtown and Broadway Mosque do so countless times. Remember dont trust a word they say. By nature they are born wicked. Remember not all are bad of any group, problem is so many are. Live and let live. Keep your radical extremism to yourself.

  • John

    Do you really believe this radical muslim mayor is not influencing this take over?

  • John Brown

    it's also a cal to all the sleeper cells to attack. and to bomb american people.
    Paterson his the new home of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    Where's the FBI?.. and are they watching this Mayor and his Crony Police Chief.

    • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

      Too busy trying to over turn the 2016 election.

  • Hillclimber

    Defend your town or soon you will have a No/Go zone.
    I have traveled to Sweden, England, France and the Netherlands. They failed to keep Islam in check and they now realize it is too late.
    Furthermore: Church bells ring on Sunday. The calls to prayer are 5 times a day and are meant to be overbearing and despotic. They send the message of supremacy. They will intentionally drown out everything else. The are also in the Arabic language so they cannot be understood.
    Muslims can afford a watch to know what time to pray without this obnoxious, unintelligible shouting.

    • shakib alam

      Yes the call to prayer is in Arabic. The meaning isn't so hard to learn. Maybe you could learn the meaning. So when you hear the call to prayer , you can understand what is being said.

      • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

        We don't want your 7th century backwards Sharia law here. Go back to your shithole.

        • shakib alam

          You have such a foul mouth. Change starts from you. No need to be so aggressive. There is enough hate in the world. Dont add to it brotha!

          • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

            Oh go choke on a pork chop

          • shakib alam

            I think you need Jesus in your life. Seems like someone hasn't been going to church

          • DemocrapSocialistsSuck

            Oh go eat a ham sandwich you backwards savage.

  • Yellow

    Whats to think about? This call to prayer is also a sratement saying 'Allah is Greater' than guess what your god! Is that OK for the residents of Patterson to be announced each day multiple times a day!