Starting this Monday a Surrey mosque will begin broadcasting a daily, two to three minute ‘call to prayer’ to celebrate Ramadan, but getting there has been quite the battle.
With most mosques not open due to COVID-19, city’s like Vancouver and Burnaby have given them permission for them to play a daily ‘call to prayer’ over their speakers as a prayer reminder to Muslims in the area who are currently celebrating Ramadan.
This year’s Ramadan is happening from April 23rd – May 23rd.
Asad Ghondal, who is the Chairman of the BC Muslim Assocation’s Surrey / Delta branch, put in a request with the City of Surrey for the Surrey Jamea Masjid at 72nd Avenue and 124th Street to do the same.
“The area where we it is, it’s a very dense population with the Muslim community. We respect the bylaws, we respect the community diversity, we always respect the community space.”
His request was for the mosque to be allowed to broadcast a two minute prayer for ten days, starting May 13th.
This is the response one of the people in Asad’s circle got back from the City of Surrey:
Ghonda says Mayor Doug McCallum’s argument was if they amend noise bylaws for them, more people might come forward wanting to do the same like the Sikh or Hindu community.
Ghonda, who has lived in Surrey for more than 30 years, says city council’s “peace offering” to allow them do a one time prayer the night before Ramadan ends, doesn’t really make sense.
“We’re not trying to achieve something that is just one day.”
Ghonda filed two more requests to city council to air the prayer for a full ten days.
Earlier this week, they met them in the middle, agreeing to let them broadcast a two-minute call to prayer for five days in a row starting this Monday, May 18th.
Ghonda isn’t using the experience to slam the city, instead using it to thank the people who backed him up in the fight.
“A lot of people put in a lot of effort to make it happen, without naming them, thank you to everybody who have given their all to get permission from the city.”
Listen to the full interview with Pulse FM’s Vanessa Ybarra below.