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Creators of the ADHINA event in Linz. Photo supplied

Austrian city to broadcast Muslim prayer daily in December

A chapel in the Baroque city of Linz in Upper Austria, straddling the Danube River midway between Salzburg and Vienna, will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer daily throughout the Christmas season.

Published: November 28, 2018, 10:39 am

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    The Islamic call to prayer will be heard publicly from the chapel of the Upper Austrian Cultural Quarter’s Ursuline Church as part of an “art installation” to illustrate “that Islam is a religion of peace”, Breitbart reported.

    Between December 2 and 23, the centre of Linz will be forced to contend with “a special kind of audiovisual experience,” when loud prerecorded calls from Algeria, Mozambique, Istanbul, and Singapore will be transmitted.

    The organisers claim the project “succeeds in linking the aesthetics of different realms of reality,” when visitors hear “the muezzin call as an Islamic ritual” together with “the everyday sounds of a secular-urban world,”, as they walk past the “Christian sacral architecture”.

    A muezzin from the mosque calls out five times a day, traditionally from the minaret, summoning Muslims for mandatory worship, a concept that is alien to secular Europeans.

    The caller traditionally faces each of the four compass directions in turn: east, west, north, and south. To each direction he cries: “Allah is most great. I testify that there is no God but Allah. I testify that Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. Come to prayer. Come to salvation. Allah is most great. There is no God but Allah.”

    Many mosques have installed electronic recordings of the call to prayer, and amplifiers have displaced the muezzin.

    The “acoustic intervention” during Advent was planned by non-Muslims Werner Puntigam and Klaus Hollinetz, who “wanted to create awareness that Islam and Christianity are religions of peace or want to be”.

    Islam is the second most widely practised faith in Austria. The Islamic Religious Community is an official representative body since it is one of 16 legally recognized churches and religious communities in the country.

    The global halal market, meanwhile has a current volume of over $4 trillion and is expanding every year, also in Austria. It is expected to reach $7 trillion in three years, according to a study carried out by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

    At the OIC Halal Expo, representatives from more than 80 countries including Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Britain, Thailand and Indonesia were present. Foreign participants corresponded to 40 percent of the total number of guests.

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