Government Introduces Plan to Synchronize Call to Prayer in Cairo

May 1, 2006

Source: Daily Times

On May 1, 2006 the Daily Times reported, "The Egyptian government unveiled on Sunday its project to synchronise the Muslim call to prayer in Cairo and said that it might next ban the use of amplifiers by muezzins at small mosques outside government control. Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud Hamdi Zakzouk said that the government had selected 25 muezzins to serve the city by broadcasts from a central location, instead of the 748 who now make the call to prayer from the minarets of the city’s mosques. Zakzouk said that using a single muezzin based at the Azhar Mosque, broadcast and then transmitted from loudspeakers at the top of each minaret, would end the current anarchy in which different mosques make the call at slightly different times... Zakzouk dismissed opposition based on fears that his ministry will try to standardise the Friday sermon or abolish the pre-dawn call to prayer. 'There is absolutely no intention to standardise the Friday sermon because the sermon in Garden City or Zamalek (wealthy parts of Cairo) differs from the sermon in a hamlet in Upper Egypt, because the congregation is different,' he said. He said that the existing muezzins can continue to work as prayer leaders in the city’s government-run mosques."