Muslim elders at an Oxford mosque have said they intend to push ahead with plans to broadcast a call to prayer from a loudspeaker despite fierce opposition.
Local residents have attacked the idea saying it would disrupt the peace and turn the area into a ‘Muslim ghetto’.
But the elders said they still intend to seek planning permission to install the loudspeaker.
If granted, they would broadcast a two-minute long call three times a day from the Central Mosque, where up to 700 people gather to worship every Friday.
The idea has gained support from the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, who last week said those in opposition to the idea should “relax” and “enjoy community diversity”.
But residents, who packed out a council meeting last month to signal their outrage, remain set against the plan which they say is an “un-neighbourly intrusion”.
They said they would rally to block the proposal when it is submitted to the council in nine months time, when construction on the mosque is complete.
Dr Allan Chapman, 61, who lives near the building, said: “The response against this has been incredible, we have been indundated with calls ranging from stiff upper lip outrage to sheer screaming fury.
“The universal message is what an utter cheek to inflict this on a non-Muslim area of Oxford. If this application goes forward then a large number of angry people are poised to form an opposition to it.”
Dr Chapman added the broadcast is not to comparable to the ringing of church bells because: “They are just a signal. The Muslim call is a theological statement.”
Residents have said the main objection is the loud amplification of the broadcast.
Elizabeth Mills, 56, said: “We don’t have a problem with the Imam climbing to the top of the minaret and shouting.
“But we object to electronic amplification. The Bishop of Oxford might say it’s ok but he doesn’t have to listen to it.”
Martin Stott, 53, a member of the Oxford Oratory, added: “This is not an anti-Muslim thing, it is more about community cohesion.”
A spokesman for the Central Mosque said that sounding the call to prayer is a traditional part of the religion.
Sadar Rana, 68, said: “Building work will take another nine months to a year, it is then that we plan to make an application to the council.
“We want to fix a loudspeak to our minaret to broadcast our call to prayer. We would like to have it three times a day but if that is not accepted, then we would like to have it at least on Fridays.
“We do not need the volume to be loud but we want to have the call in some form because it’s our tradition.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-504373/Mosques-plan-broadcast-prayer-loudspeaker-create-Muslim-ghetto.html#ixzz2vBhbrgOZ
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook