Cairo Moves to Instate Unified Broadcast of 3,500 Calls to Prayer

March 10, 2005

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On March 10, 2005 The Christian Science Monitor reported, "The city government is finalizing plans - first announced last September - to wire Cairo's 3,500 mosques so they will broadcast a live, unified call to prayer that would replace the chaotic cacophony which now bursts forth five times a day, amplified in some places through squeaky speakers. What would seem to be a simple, modern solution to the din is upsetting both traditionalists and those who see it violating the spirit of more open expression emerging in the region. The Ministry of Religious Endowments, which oversees public issues of worship, says it's responding to a flood of complaints about high noise levels, especially in tightly populated areas, and argues that it's up to the mosque to set a standard for greater order in this tumultuous megalopolis of 15 million. But in one of the world's noisiest cities, where incessant honking is deemed vital to pilot a vehicle, and where piling friends and family into a riverboat thumping with music is considered fun, the idea that orderliness might be closer to godliness falls on very deaf ears indeed."