Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Muslim call to prayer

Throughout Turkey, a Muslim but secular nation, the call to prayer can be heard several times a day from the innumerable mosques.  Each regional area has a “central command” mosque which delivers the call to prayer over a network at the right minute of the day to the other mosques in the area, which then broadcast it from loudspeakers.

All the other Relief Riders commented on how beautiful they found the calls to be.  I am going to beg to differ.  It was very likely beautiful a hundred years ago when the call to prayer was made by the power of the haj’s lungs from the minaret, but anything broadcast by loudspeaker is instantly robbed of aesthetic quality and becomes a raucous and knife-edged racket.  It’s as if there are six “fun runs” organised in your neighbourhood every day.

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