Shocking: Muslim call to prayer broadcast on the streets of Minneapolis!

It’s true! The Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque will be playing the adhan five times a day in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. You may recall that that was the Minneapolis neighborhood visited by Jacob Wohl and Laura Loomer in their quest to find the Muslim terrorists lurking there.

The Muslim call to prayer will be broadcast the traditional five times a day in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, beginning with the start of Ramadan this week and continuing through the end of the religious holiday in May.

I checked out a few sites where this news was being reported. There’s a lot of Jesus-freaking going on, but I thought this comment merited my attention.

We need to shut this down. Where are all the “principled atheists” and “skeptical scientists” to oppose this? They’ll sure put up a fuss if there’s a cross outside or a Ten Commandments display in a courthouse. Cricket noises when the city pays* for loudspeakers to blast Muslim propaganda into neighborhoods.

He put the asterisk there because there isn’t actually any sign that the city paid for it, he just thinks they did. But hey! “Principled atheist.” “Skeptical scientist.” He might as well have written by name in there, because that’s me, and I do have a response.

I titled this “shocking” because the story implies that Muslim communities were not allowed to make the call to prayer before this. That’s just wrong! The Christian believers are always ringing bells and singing Christian carols between October and January and inviting people to church without a single qualm. But Muslims haven’t been allowed to do the same for their religion? Why? If the Catholic church down the street from me can ring their bells multiple times a day on Sundays, why can’t the muezzins do likewise for their faith, within the limits of noise ordnances? If singing “God is Great” and “There is no God but God” is propaganda, then so is saying “Jesus is Lord”, and you can’t ban one without banning the other.

Freedom of religion means you can’t impose your religion on me, and I can’t force my godlessness on you, and that all religions and non-religions ought to be treated equally. I have no problem with this practice, any more than I complain about the nearby Catholic church. I’d go further and say we shouldn’t disallow it once Ramadan is over, within any limits on frequency and volume that must be equally applied to all churches as well. Also, to me, if ever the urge strikes me to go outside and bang pots and shake my fist at the sky and yell about religions being false.

It’s especially good to allow this practice if it makes Jacob Wohl pee his pants.


  1. mastmaker says

    When I lived in India, I had to suffer extremely LOUD azan calls, and equally LOUD (and far more frequent and lengthy) religious music from Hindu temples. Between them, they destroyed any peace the neighborhoods had. There was no authority in India that could effectively impose noise ordnances and such on religious entities. Glad to have escaped it. Now, I have the luxury of being annoyed at the few-times-a-week loud motorcycle of my neighbor!

  2. Bruce says

    Now I’m imagining PZ mounting speakers outside his house, so that every Sunday he can tell Morris that “Spiders Are Good”.

  3. says

    Christians and muslims worship the same god. Why can’t they appreciate that?

    It always makes me giggle when the faithful start declaring the religions of others to be “false” – oh, really? How do you know? Were you THERE?

  4. jrkrideau says

    @ 3 Marcus
    Christians and muslims worship the same god.
    given that I have heard bible-thumpers say that Catholics are not really Christians, I doubt that “Christians and Muslims worship the same god” is likely to go down well with a lot of the mad evangelicals.

    I hope the muezzin has a good voice. I used to work across the street from a mosque whose muezzin’s call to prayer would curdle milk.

  5. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 Bruce
    To do it properly he needs a tower that he can climb and make the call in person. Good exercise and I second the call from Callinectes @ 4.

    Those recorded calls are so tacky. Like recorded bell carillons.

  6. cgm3 says

    One of the commenters invokes Matthew 6:6, and insists that since Muslims are worshipping publicly, rather than in private, they must be trying to force their religion on others (unlike Christians who… pardon me, my head is about to asplode)

  7. imthegenieicandoanything says

    “written by name in there” – “by” should be “my”

    Otherwise, keep on, admirable sir!

  8. says

    given that I have heard bible-thumpers say that Catholics are not really Christians, I doubt that “Christians and Muslims worship the same god” is likely to go down well with a lot of the mad evangelicals.

    Sure, and they also disclaim the mormons, branch davidians, and other batshittery. But the nature of religion is that there is no testable exclusionary principle – you are whatever you say you until someone says you aren’t and tries to kill you. Gotta love religion!

  9. christoph says

    @ Marcus Ranum, # 11: Quote from Robert Heinlein: “One mans religion is another man’s belly laugh.”

  10. Pierce R. Butler says

    Proposed new rule: no sounds from any religious buildings audible from anywhere beyond the nearest sidewalk.

    Believers can download apps that make the chosen noises at the chosen times from their phones (earbuds required for any volume detectable from more than one meter away).

  11. unclefrogy says

    christian leaders must suspect that if all religion were allowed to be practice completely openly and without being attacked for it then all religion would come to be seen as equal, and all just as impossible stories and unbelievable.
    uncle frogy

  12. birgerjohansson says

    I recommend PZ plays the Alien battle song from wossname, that British TV comedy: “Kill the Humans”.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    While the theology of islam is more resistent to liberalisation and in places more vile than christianity, the individual muslims I know are OK.
    BTW if the Jedi religion has some hymns you should play them LOUDLY one day each week.

  14. Larry says

    With all the persecution fundies are faced with these days, they certainly don’t need yet another thing that puts their panties into a bunch. It’s bad enough that they have to stay home from the communal brotherhood-and-virus spewing regular services, now they’ll have to listen to this muslim praying while they’re at home.

    The horrors!

  15. says

    Years ago I did some research into the approval process for a local mosque. I was given access to the council’s file on the application. The mosque was subject to sustained protest and was rejected several times until the lawyers and the mosque Committee e entuallt structured an application which left the council no alternative but to approve it or face losing a court battle. By the time it was approved the file was nearly a metre thick. This included hundreds of objection letters. There were multiple ones from a, single address, the nearby private bus depot owned by a council member who had large property interests in the area. From reading the file he was the major driver of the objections for obvious commercial reasons. Many letters came from fake addresses but the one that stood out was a complaint about the noise of the call to prayer. It came from an address about 20 miles away. Now I know the call can be loud but the lengths the council went to were ridiculous. They required the mosque to have 9 foot high earth banks along the boundary planted with dense shrubs. That got knocked out when they pointed out that no churches or community halls had that requirement. In fact they discovered one church with an illegal caroark which pumped noise and exhaust fumes into its neighbours windows. The final irony it was approved to operate until 11pm. At the same time the council approved its own community centre in an adjoining street. This venue which hosts drunken parties with loud music and even louder guests sits 3 feet from its neighbours fences and was approved to operate till 1am.

  16. astringer says

    garydardgan @ 19

    an illegal caroark which pumped noise and exhaust fumes into its neighbours windows<<< Blimy! Being non-religeous I had too look that one up on t’ interweb. Wow. I didn’t know that caroarks were indeed a thing. And these people pump them


    “caroark: noun. A christian-based attraction based around the theme of Noah’s ark where visitors can join in hymn-focused karaoke sessions”

  17. wzrd1 says

    MY wife and I spent five years in the Persian Gulf region, mostly in Qatar, but visiting other GCC nations on occasion.
    The Adhan was an extremely handy way of knowing what time it was and when traffic would be at a minimum.
    If we arrived a tad to early at a shop, we’d ask the clerk or owner to continue and we’d happily wait as we examined the wares.
    That invariably resulted in invitations for tea, biscuits and conversation, which is always welcome.
    In many ways, we miss the region, things were saner there than in the US.

  18. eleanor says

    @6 I couldn’t but think of Emo Phillips:

    ‘Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”
    He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Christian or a Jew?” He said, “A Christian.” I said, “Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me, too! What franchise?” He said, “Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?” He said, “Northern Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?” He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region.” I said, “Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?”
    He said, “Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912.” I said, “Die, heretic!” And I pushed him over.’

  19. says

    A multi-prizewinning joke by Emo. I think a lot of it depends on his uniquely quirky delivery. The lead-up (horse face guy) is not bad, either. But to really appreciate it best, search up some video of Emo delivering it.

  20. says

    Susan Montgomery@9 in retrospect that was appropriate given that Jonathan Cain married evangelist Paula White, who is one of Trump’s current advisors. (I will give Cain credit for one thing, at least by marrying White he married a woman who is old enough to remember when Journey actually had hits.)

  21. John Harshman says

    I’m sure you will agree that there’s nothing so enjoyable as a good spelling flame. In that spirit, “noise ordnance” would be something like a giant cannon that goes “boom”.

  22. JustaTech says

    John Harshman: In Washington state avalanche control is done on state Route 2 at Steven’s Pass (popular ski area) by an Abrams tank that fires a sound-producing projectile to preemptively start an avalanche before they get too big and might damage the road below.

    So they do indeed use “noise ordnance”.

  23. birgerjohansson says

    I am a principled atheist, and I want jainists to open up a temple there to balance the Christian and Islamic BS. Jainists are also into BS, but they have stark naked monks, and that might be something that distracts those who write angry letters about those horrible mooslems.

  24. Sunday Video Games says

    @Marcus Ranum
    Christian and Muslims don’t have the same God, you are very ignorant. Christian God sent Jesus to die on cross, and it says he is God. Muslim God says Jesus was only a prophet, just a man. They take away the salvation part, and who Jesus is, that’s not the God of the Bible. There entire Koran is different from the Holy Bible. Catholic Church bells are not annoying to me because a it’s a few rings and it’s done, but listen to Muslim prayer non stop is. The prayers are evil and demonic to a Christian because it’s the wrong God. It’s not the God of the Holy Bible.