Mosques in Edmonton are adapting to the second Ramadan during COVID-19 with broadcasting public calls to prayer, following health measures and an illuminated High Level Bridge.
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The High Level Bridge was lit up on the eve of the fasting month of Ramadan and it will also be illuminated to mark Eid at the end of the holy month. The city has also allowed for Edmonton mosques to play the call to prayer publicly outside the buildings so those observing the holy month will hear it as they stay outside, socially distanced.
Yasin Cetin, outreach and engagement coordinator for the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) in Edmonton said the public calls to prayer were first conducted in the city last year as religious services pivoted for the pandemic.
He said mosques have prepared information packages for their neighbors and that there were no noise complaints last year regarding the calls to prayer being broadcast outside.
Nathalie Batres, a spokeswoman for Mayor Don Iveson’s office, said they were happy to be able to accommodate the outdoor calls to prayer.
“Understanding that the Adhan is a shared experience that fosters a sense of community and connects Muslims to the community around them, we’re happy we could help make this happen during a time when the need to connect with the people around you is at an all-time high,” said Batres.
Muslims make the third largest religious group with 3.2% of the population in Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and conservative party leader Erin O’Toole wished observers a blessed month.
“Over the coming month, while fasting during the daytime, many Muslim Canadians will continue to be on the front lines of our fight against COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “During these exceptional times, I invite all Canadians to recognize the many contributions Muslim communities have made to our country since the pandemic began, as they have for many generations.”
Trudeau said Muslim Canadians will turn to virtual alternatives as ways to “come together and enjoy iftar” with friends and families as the country continues to follow public health guidelines amid the pandemic.