Hawzah News Agency (Stockholm, Sweden) – The municipality rejected the proposal to ban the public call to prayer saying that neither the Sweden Democrats nor the Christian Democrats could prove that the broadcasted Arabic prayer was causing a public disturbance that would warrant it being banned, local newspaper Sydöstran reports.
The Sweden Democrats said, "Prayer announcements in public places and in foreign languages are not part of Swedish society.
"These prayer announcements are not only a call to prayer but also an imposition on other religions."
Initially, the matter was supposed to have been decided in September but was delayed because lawyers of the municipality claimed they needed time to look into the legality of banning the call to prayer.
The issue of the public broadcast of the call to prayer has been an issue in other municipalities in Sweden like Växjö where, earlier this year, the local community demanded to be allowed to broadcast the call through a loudspeaker every Friday to aid in integration efforts.
Several months later, police in Växjö granted the Islamic community the permission to broadcast the call to prayer although some, like local Moderate Party politician Anna Tenje, criticised the move.
"If the Church of Sweden set up a tape recorder in the cathedral that proclaimed God's message, I would have objected to that too. I like the secular society and would like to defend it," she said.
While Sweden has, in some cases, allowed the broadcast of the call to prayer, other countries in Europe have been more hesitant, such as Germany where the Gelsenkirchen Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia issued a ban on the practice earlier this year.