Green light for prayer calls at Swedish mosque
A mosque in the south Stockholm suburb of Botkyrka has received approval to make prayer calls from its minaret, the first time such permission has ever been granted in Sweden.On Tuesday, a majority of the members of Botkyrka municipality's city planning committee voted in favour of scrapping a 1994 prohibition on allowing prayer calls dating from before the construction of the mosque, located in the municipality's Fittja district, the Dagen newspaper reported.
The Christian Democrats were the only party to vote against allowing the mosque to make prayer calls.
The matter was put to a vote after Ismail Okur, chair of the Botkyrka Islamic Association (Islamiska föreningen i Botkyrka) filed a citizens' petition with the local council in January seeking permission to allow prayer calls at the mosque.
He told Dagen that members of the association decided it was time they took steps to exercise their right to religious freedom in Sweden.
"We've lived our whole lives in Sweden; we've paid taxes; we've been exemplary citizens; we've given a lot to Sweden," he said.
"Now we want to get a little back. Now we want to have religious freedom." (continue reading...)