Harrow Council has received a planning application on behalf of Harrow Central Mosque to broadcast the call to prayer each Friday for a initial three-month period.
The ‘Call to Prayer’ campaign, has been up by fundraiser Rehana Choudry in aid of the British Heart Foundation Charity. The campaign calls on people of all faiths in Harrow to reflect on their lives during the coronavirus pandemic at 6pm each Friday.
In addition, churches across Harrow will also ring their bells at the 6pm allocated time. The planning application has caused controversy with people complaining about the noise levels for local residents in close proximity to the Mosque.
A Harrow Council Spokesperson said: ‘The council has received a planning application from Harrow Cental mosque and is now carrying out a statutory consultation’
They added: ‘the council will assess the application against current national and local planning policies and regulations’.
A petition set up by local residents has been signed by more than 12,500 people. One person commented saying: “Broadcasting prayer calls over an amplified sound system will cause noise pollution. Furthermore it would cause a nuisance to neighbours who would like to enjoy outdoors in peace and quiet in this lockdown. Harrow is a multicultural and diverse community. Installation and use of such system would be out of character of Harrow”.
Despite the controversy, the application has received support from many people in Harrow with some praising the cultural diversity of the borough.
Mrs Choudry’s campaign has raised almost £1,000 so far. A note on the just giving page says: “I’m raising money for the British Heart Foundation. BHF are currently inundated to support those living with heart and circulatory diseases during Covid-19 through their dedicated Heart Help Line run by specialist medical staff.
“The Heart Help Line has recently been expanded to deal with an increasing number of calls for advice relating to the Covid-19 virus, this service is invaluable given the pressures currently faced by the NHS and to provide reassurance to the public.
“My initiative in response to Covid-19 is asking the community of all faiths to pray every Friday at 6.00 p.m. for the virus to end and to display the Prayer from my Heart on their windows to show solidarity.”
(Image Credit: Google)