Mosque asks to broadcast Call to Prayer: Wgtn mayor says J**** C*****

call to prayer

When Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau heard Wellington’s mosques were seeking permission to broadcast the Call to Prayer, her response was offensive and irreligious.

Whanau was on air at the time talking to The Platform’s Sean Plunkett.

“The Platform has received quite a bit of feedback regarding the district plan vote Thursday on the broadcast of the Call to Prayer” Plunkett said to Whanau.

Plunket understood the council discussion to broadcast the Call to Prayer was originally in the name of Whanau, however it was switched to Councillor Rebecca Matthews.

When Plunket sought confirmation on where the idea came from, Whanau told him to talk to her office.

Pressed, Whanau said “Jesus Christ Sean, umm, I’ll come back to you.”

Civil harmony

On Wednesday, Wellington Councillor Nicola Young also discussed broadcasting the call to prayer with Heather du Plessis-Allan on NewtalkZB Drive.

In a respectful conversation, Young said she feels allowing calls to prayer would make Wellington the laughingstock of New Zealand – and would be offensive to most people.

“Because New Zealand is a secular country … I think we’re the third-most atheist country in the world” she says.

“Why would we start having prayers being broadcast?

“A lot of people would find it incredibly offensive” she told du Plessis-Allan.

When asked about the Capital’s church bells, Young said “They play once, on a Sunday, which is rather different from five or six times a day, every day.

“Allowing mosques to broadcast their call one day a week and churches to ring their bells once a week would be ridiculous” she said.

“We have to stop this.”

She refers to the Education Act 1877 which speaks of harmony and keeping religion private.

People are outraged, she says.

Sort out the water leaks and fix the sewers

Feedback suggests the Council should focus on infrastructure rather than “distractions” like this.

Young calls the Mosque’s “Call to Prayer” request a distraction for the Wellington City Council saying such issues aren’t what they need to consider.

The City Council should stick to its municipal role, things like dealing urgently with water and sewage infrastructure Young suggested.

Local Mosques reportedly asked the council to change noise control regulations so they can play calls to prayer over outdoor speakers as is done in Muslim countries.

Investigation underway

The Wellington City Council voted to use ratepayers’ money and instructed the council officials to investigate how calls to prayer could be made.

It wants to know if changes to noise rules would need to be made to enable the request.

A council spokesperson says any rule changes would be subject to public consultation.

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