February 05, 2008

Religions Collide in Oxford, England

The noise of Islamic imperialism invades public spaces - and England can't stop it. From Religions Collide in Oxford, England:

The Oxford Central Mosque is seeking permission to broadcast a two-minute Muslim call to prayer through loudspeakers in the minaret three times a day, a proposal that has outraged many East Oxford locals.

Charlie Cleverly, the rector of St. Aldates Church, said broadcasting the call to prayer was not like the "neutral" Christian call to prayer of the church bell.

"I don't think the people of Oxford want to hear a call to prayer to Allah in the same way people don't want someone loud in their face asking them to buy coffee," he said.

The city has 6,000 Muslims among its 150,000 inhabitants. According to Dr. Allan Chapman, a member of Oxford University's Faculty of History, who lives in the shadow of the mosque, "It's not a matter of people's right to religious freedom, it's about making Islam the religion of public space - getting into people's houses and work places."