Oxford Bishop Backs Adhan

IslamOnline.net & Newspapers

CAIRO — The bishop of the British city of Oxford, Rt Rev John Pritchard, has supported a Muslim proposal to sound Adhan (the Muslim call of prayer) in parts of the historical city, reported the Telegraph on Saturday, January 12.

"I believe we have good relationships with the Muslim community here in Oxford," he said.

"I am personally very happy for the mosque to call the faithful to prayer in East Oxford."

Oxford's Central Mosque has proposed broadcasting the call for the Zhuhr (noon), `Asr (afternoon) and Maghrib (sunset) prayers.

Muslims agreed not to raise the Adhan at Fajr (dawn) or `Isha’ (night) prayers in order not to cause any inconvenience for non-Muslims, who are traditionally not awake at these times.

The proposal has met opposition from locals, who claim that the call for prayer will turn East Oxford into a "Muslim ghetto."

But Bishop Pritchard urged opponents to "relax" and enjoy community diversity.

"I sympathize with those who find any kind of expression of public faith intrusive, but I think part of being part of a tolerant society is saying, 'I don't agree with this but I accept it as part of my responsibility as being part of a diverse community'."

"Faith is a very important factor in the lives of 80 per cent of the world's population and a public expression of that faith is both natural and reasonable," he noted.

But Bishop Pritchard said some practical issues must be ironed out first such as the volume of the call, where it went out and whether a trial period would be required.

No Ghettos

The Oxford bishop also rejected claims by the Anglican Church's bishop Rt Rev Dr Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester that Muslims have turned some parts of Britain into "no-go" zones for people of other faiths.

"There are no no-go areas in this country that we are aware of and in all parts of the country there are good interfaith relationships developing," he said.

"I want to distance myself from what the Bishop of Rochester has said."

Bishop Nazir-Ali's "no-go Muslim areas" allegations have sparked furor across Britain.

Nazir-Ali is infamous for his repetitive attacks on Britain's Muslims, estimated at nearly two million.

Last year, he warned that a radical Islam was being taught in mosque schools and asked the government to put restrictions on overseas Muslim scholars.

The government refuted last week Nazir-Ali's "no-go" allegations.

Leading politicians were more critical of the bishop, who ironically chairs the Anglican Church's inter-faith dialogue group.

Source: Islamonline.net


Post a Comment