On October 6, 2021, the city of Cologne, Germany, gave the green light to a project to broadcast the Muslim Friday call to prayer, in a time slot between noon and 3 p.m., for a maximum duration of five minutes.
“When we hear the call of the muezzin in addition to the church bells in our city, it shows that diversity is valued and lived in practice in Cologne.”
This is the astonishing declaration of the mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, who has just launched a pilot project in consultation with the representatives of the 35 mosques that officially make up the largest German diocese.
On the Muslim side, they are jubilant, as would be expected: “this measure is the expression of the implantation of Muslims who have lived for generations in Germany,” explains the Union of Turkish-Islamic Affairs (Ditib), an organization largely controlled from Turkey, which funded the city's largest mosque.
The national conservatives were quick to step up to the plate, reminding their fellow citizens that the call to prayer “is the expression of a political demand for power, submission and Islamization,” according to the words of Beatrix von Storch, Member of the Alternative Party for Germany (Afd).
As for the bishops, so far there has been radio silence. It must be said that the diocese is going through difficult times, with the - temporary - replacement of Cardinal Archbishop, Rainer Woelki, by one of his auxiliaries.