Voters on Tuesday narrowly upheld a law allowing the city’s
Islamic mosques to have amplified calls to prayer, 1,462 to 1,200.

“I feel wonderful,” said Abdul Motlib, president of the Al-Islah Islamic
Center. “Now we truly have approval from the residents of the city. We can
feel proud of Hamtramck.”

But Willy Jones, 67, voted against allowing the calls to prayer.

“It’s a noise hazard,” he said after voting at a Catholic school across the
street from the Al-Islah mosque.

The City Council in April unanimously amended Hamtramck’s noise ordinance,
making the adhan — the Islamic call to prayer — protected speech. The
amendment allows the call to prayer but regulates its volume and timing.

Jones questioned the assertion by Muslim leaders that the calls are no
different from church bells.

“The church has been doing this for years. This is not calling people to
prayer. It’s (giving) the time of day,” he said…

In the special election, about 29 percent of the city’s 9,179 registered
voters who went to the polls also recalled three school board members who
were accused of barring the public from parts of board meetings…


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