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    Minaret Calls 'Unnecessary', Mobile Apps 'Good Enough' for Some Swedish Muslims

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    A number of Swedish Muslims have added an unexpected twist to the fiery debate around minaret calls, which has been smoldering for the past months, by claiming that modern technology has rendered loud prayer calls redundant.

    While two Swedish mosques (located in Växjö and Karlskrona respectively) were granted permission to summon worshippers with prayer calls at rock concert volumes of 110Db, triggering a hot discussion about the future environment of Swedish cities, other mosques are not interested in pursuing such permissions, Swedish Radio reported.

    Mohammad el-Alti, a press officer for Gothenburg Mosque, representing Sunni Islam, argued that today's technical solutions, such as mobile apps, are much more effective in reminding the flock about prayer times than traditional prayer calls at high volumes.

    "In fact, we do have prayer calls, but they happen inside the mosque's walls. After all, all worshippers have smartphones with apps that show prayer times. And that's enough for most," el-Alti said.

    READ MORE: Giant Mosque Slated for Construction in Sweden‘s 'Little Mogadishu'

    According to him, in a large city like Gothenburg, there is no need for loud prayer calls, because the majority of locals aren't Muslim and may see the prayers as disturbing.

    "The majority in the mosque's surroundings aren't Muslims. Therefore, it is very important for us not to disturb them and get their approval," he said.

    Nor does the Imam Ali Mosque, located in Järfälla outside of Stockholm and representing Shia Islam, intend to apply for permit for loud prayer calls.

    "There are a lot of applications that can be downloaded from different countries, so technologically there is no problem," mosque representative Akil Zahiri said. "It's up to each association to decide on whether they need prayer calls or not, but I haven't encountered any assembly within our umbrella organization that has applied for permissions to carry out prayer calls outside its premises."

    READ MORE: Swedish City Allows 110 DB Muslim Prayer Calls, Rejects Church Clock Ringing

    The permission to grant two mosques the right to prayer calls has polarized Swedish society. While hailed as the epitome of tolerance by local politicians and even as a "wise and thought-out decision" by the Bishop of Växjö, it also sparked criticism, with former imam Tomas Samuel venturing it "proclaimed Islam over a city."

    Earlier this summer, a poll revealed that over 60 percent of Swedes were against prayer calls, with opposition peaking at 96 percent among right-wing Sweden Democrats voters.

    Sweden's first minaret call or adhan was held on April 26, 2013 in the Stockholm district of Fittja.

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    Tags:
    prayer calls, minarets, Islam, Scandinavia, Sweden
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