Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Oxford Phlegm to Prayer?

Well I hope people had far too much to eat yesterday and all the usual Christmas stuff. Sticking with a religious theme I thought I would link to this story in the Daily Mail about concerns over a mosque in Oxford. The mosque apparently wants to have a loud speaker system that will broadcast the call to prayer three times a day across the City.

As one would expect there has been some opposition to it. From a purely noise pollution standpoint I would imagine that having the call to prayer three time a day, seven days a week would get rather annoying. At least with church bells it's usually only once a week and maybe twice if there is a wedding going on.

Having said that, when I spent two weeks in Egypt, one week of which was in Luxor, I used to quite like hearing the call to the prayer. There was something rather mystical about the way it sounds, and even better it meant I didn't need to wear a watch, because some guy let me know when it was breakfast, lunch and dinner time.

The only thing I did worry about whether there was a spit guard on the microphone. I guess the prospect of the guy doing the calling having a cold in Egypt was limited, but imagine it in Oxford. It could get messy couldn't it? Wouldn't be so much a call to prayer but a phlegm to prayer.


Anonymous said...

Dizzy, you've mistyped the link so I got it from the code. How is the hangover :-)

Hope you had a great Christmas Day.

dizzy said...

Fixed. No hangover.

Anonymous said...

Would they end up getting a pole to fix a Japanese tannoy in Oxford for muslims?
makes me smile.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a local church could erect some outside loudpeakers and play the hymn "Jesus is Lord, creation's voice proclaims it..." immediately after the islamic call to prayer has ended?

My reason for suggesting this particular hymn is that the theological doctrine it expresses might be thought to complement (or balance) the views expressed in the call to prayer.

Or perhaps it would be better if neither were heard several times each day and the good citizens of Oxford continued to rely upon the neutral sound of a bell tolling the hour, as they go about their daily activities?
Graham Smith
(apologies for not signing in - it isn't too easy when using Microsoft Mobile)

Anonymous said...

I just can't believe this stuff even gets as far as a planning application. Noise pollution is noise pollution, I don't care where it comes from!!!!

The Splund said...

The Mosque in question is very close to where my Grandmother lives. She's hopelessly deaf so the call to prayer won't be much of an issue for her. I drive past the Mosque every week and it's actually rather inspring - and its been fascinating to watch it being built- would that the Christian church had the dynamism to still be building ecclesiastical buildings on that scale.

Not sure that the thousands of Students who live in East Oxford will appreciate having their drunken stupors..sorry, STUDIES, interrupted three times a day though!

Anonymous said...

The Church of England is the established or state church in England - so I suppose in a funny way they have the right to ring their bells when they like.

Having said that, I don't belong to any organised religion - and I would be vexed if 'every place of worship' decided to shout, ring, chime, and chant their prayer calls.

"That all-softening, overpowering knell, The tocsin of the soul--the dinner bell."

Anonymous said...

Yes, in an islamic country, the call to prayer - as long as it's wafting over a distance and isn't in the vicinity - sounds quite exotic. I'm not sure that we want such exoticism in Oxford, which has a distinctly English character established over several hundred years and which fits elegantly into the fabric of our country.

What posters here do not seem to understand, because you clearly don't know enough about islam, is that this is one more colonising move. It is a colonisation of the subconscious mind. Ask the voters of Dearborne, Michigan.

Oxford should resist this request, which would alter the nature of Oxford. And, indeed, is intended to do so.

Anonymous said...

Would it not be uplifting for all to hear that grand old hymn Onward Christian Soldiers broadcast over the gleaming spires of Oxford at least once a day?

Anonymous said...

Cowley Road was a haven for Asian and Caribbean shops and restaurants way, way back. I remember it as a harmonious area and the only place you could get decent spices and pure rum!

I've no idea if the atmosphere has changed in the last few years but I can well imagine it would upset a lot of people and create unnecessary anomosity.

Presumably 'mini-mosques' have been operating in the area without the need for a minaret?!

The council will be kept busy with statutory investigations into noise complaints; church bells have been silenced in this way. Goose and gander.

Unsworth said...

Crazy. Absolutely, completetely, utterly, bleeding crazy.

We have become a Muslim country.

Anonymous said...

A few choice sharia laws next. Nothing too drastic. Just,let's say, laws of inheritance within islamic families (for now). Nothing to frighten the horses.

Then, of course, a few years down the line, "harmonisation" of the law, so it applies to everyone. Islamic banking is already creeping forward on little cat feet.

These things are always incremental and start with something that is at least fightable, but it seems too mean-spirited to fight it. (As in, allowing mosques, frankly.) Next, it becomes embedded. If Oxford allows the minaret to go through, within two years, every town and city in Britain will be called to prayer five times a day.

You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.