Call to Prayer Verdict Provokes Outrage in Hamtramck

April 28, 2004

Source: The Detroit Free Press

On April 28, 2004 The Detroit Free Press reportedm "The Hamtramck City Council's unanimous approval Tuesday night of a plan to allow the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast on loudspeakers five times a day in Arabic has outraged many of the city's Polish Catholic residents. They said they'll start a petition drive to bring the issue to a vote. Others have said they'll file lawsuits in federal court. Some plan to move... Two police officers tried to keep the peace Tuesday night as hundreds of people packed City Hall and officials decided an issue that has divided the changing city... The ordinance becomes law on May 26. Abdul Algazali said Muslims in Hamtramck aren't out to create a religious or ethnic rift. Rather, he said, 'We're in this city to build bridges.' Algazali, president of the Hamtramck-based American Yemeni Council, encouraged the City Council to approve the noise ordinance that will allow the call to prayer... Maria Radtke, a Polish immigrant who fled a Europe devastated by World War II, said Tuesday that it irks her that Muslims don't seem to be trying to fit into American culture the way she did when she first came to the United States. 'When you come to this country . . . adjust to the customs and beliefs of this country. I respect their religion. I respect their faith. But you cannot wear this on your sleeve. 'Fifty-two years ago when I came to this country, every nationality lived in their own community, and really, it was peaceful. And now politicians made a melting pot where you can live anywhere you want. That made a disaster.'"