Call to Prayer Controversy Sets Precedent for Nation's Growing Diversity

July 21, 2004

Source: Detroit Free Press

On July 21, 2004 Detroit Free Press reported, "Campaign banners fluttered in four languages and neighbors from an array of ethnic backgrounds took to the streets and gathered in houses of worship in Hamtramck Tuesday to lobby each other as voters decided two hotly debated ballot questions. Issues as universal as religious freedom and public education hung in the balance in the special election, but the grassroots politicking also presented a vivid visual confirmation of the nation's growing diversity. Hamtramck's political confrontation over a mosque's rooftop broadcasts of the call to prayer also drew the attention of religious leaders from across Michigan... Though officials said the prayer election really wouldn't have an effect on whether the mosque can broadcast, Muslims celebrated the outcome as a symbol of their acceptance... The city's top Catholic, Protestant and Muslim clergy, as well as City Council members, have publicly agreed that the call is welcome with or without an ordinance."