esidents of this historically Polish enclave plan to
vote Tuesday on whether to reverse the City Council's decision to allow the
Islamic call to prayer to be broadcast by mosques.
The referendum was added to a previously scheduled recall election ballot,
The Detroit News reported.
The controversy began after members of the predominantly Bangladeshi
al-Islah mosque approached City Council for permission to begin
broadcasting the two-minute Arabic chant from loudspeakers. Some residents
argued it would create too much noise while others contended that being
forced to hear an Islamic declaration of faith would be a violation of
their own freedom of religion as Christians.
In April, City Council unanimously approved an amendment to Hamtramck's
noise ordinance allowing the call to prayer, which is traditionally
performed five times a day. But a petition signed by more than 630 people
opposing the amendment meant that the change was suspended until residents
could vote on the issue