Residents complain that ‘call to prayer’ is too loud

Tenants at the Holbrook Senior Plaza apartments say the Ideal Islamic Center across on the street from the apartment complex broadcasts its call to prayer too loud and too early in the morning.




By Charles Sercombe

          The debate over the Muslim call to prayer is reverberating once again.

          At last week’s city council meeting, several residents of the Hamtramck Senior Plaza apartments on Holbrook complained about the volume level of the call to prayer coming from the Ideal Islamic Center, located across from the apartment complex.

          Jeanette Powell said she’s not complaining as a way to “bash anyone’s religion.”

          She said the call or prayer was broadcast at 6 a.m. and found the volume “overbearing.”

          “Just turn it down a little bit.”

          Carol Marsh said not only was the call to prayer too loud, she insisted that the organizers of the center never said it would serve as a mosque.

          “We were lied to,” she said. “We were told it would never be turned into a mosque.”

          But Sakrul Islam of the center said no one ever said it would not be a mosque, saying an Islamic center “covers everything.”

          He warned Marsh that if she continued claiming she was lied to he would file a defamation lawsuit.

          He also denied accusations that the call to prayer was broadcast earlier than 6 a.m. Islam said he has since turned down the volume when the police department informed him of the complaints.

          Islam accused City Councilmember Robert Zwolak, who lives in the apartment complex, of whipping up complaints.

          “He’s against Muslims,” he said.

          The center on Holbrook was not the only mosque accused of broadcasting the call too loudly.

          Susan Dunn, who is a candidate for city council, said the new mosque on St. Aubin St., the Abu-Bakr Al-Siddique Islamic Center, also broadcasts the call loudly. Dunn lives on Hewitt St., which is a block away from the center.

          She said she asked neighbors who attend services at the center to tell organizers there to turn down the volume.

          Since then, she said, it’s been “turned down some.”

          The complaints launched a long discussion on the city’s noise ordinance and the ordinance regulating the call to prayer.

          According to Councilmember Cathie Gordon the city’s ordinance has no teeth.

          Police Chief Max Garbarino said the way he’s been dealing with the issue is to talk with mosque leaders and ask them to turn down the volume.

          The call to prayer issue first came up in 2004 when city officials were considering an ordinance regulating it. At that time, there was a heated debate over the issue.

          Eventually, the city council at the time OK’d the ordinance. But that decision was challenged after Zwolak, who was not a member of council at the time, led a successful petition drive to put the matter up to a ballot vote.

          Voters approved the ordinance by a 55 to 45 percent margin.

          The issue also attracted national and international attention. Periodically, residents complain about the volume of the call to prayer, mostly from the mosque located on Caniff near Jos. Campau.

89 Responses to Residents complain that ‘call to prayer’ is too loud

  1. Mohamed

    September 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    The should not have a speaker for the call to prayer, traditionally it must be called without speaker.
    I feel really sorry for the seniors and hope the center take action in that regard.

  2. Kazi

    September 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

    As a Muslim I understand the reason behind traditional prayer call , but can we lower the sound little bit during early morning ?

  3. Roger

    September 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Well there is an easy way to settle the debate over use of the Islamic center. Pull the initial permits that are public record and see what they say about religious usage. I was told once that the Islamic centers were not places if worship rather places where a common religion could get together to support one another and discuss topics and network. That’s why they were allowed in commercial areas because they would not be worship centers and thus tax exempt, but that is for councilmembers to look into.

  4. Ahmed Samy

    October 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Salam alikom,

    The prophet PBUH never used loudspeakers to call the Athan, people have watches they can use to know what times the prayer is. If anything, the Athan shouldn’t be caled outside the timeframe of work hours (10am-6pm) to avoid bothering non Muslims with the sound when they are relaxing, which Islamically is worst off.

    Ahmed (Yemeni American)

  5. Shalil Nomoa

    November 22, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    How is this not noise pollution? I’m sure if I had a loudspeaker playing classical music (only 3 minutes song) 5 times a day at 5AM that surely must be allowed in this town right? DUH!


  7. sybol burk

    November 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I come from a pentecostal heritage. Years ago when we had our church meetings many times the police were call because our music and praise would be loud[no airconditioning,our windows would be raised up]. We of coarse obeyed the law.Is there no law to be obeyed anymore. THE LAW IS FOR THE GREATER GOOD OF ALL THE PEOPLE MAY GOD BLESS US ALL HERE

  8. Ally awkwa

    November 28, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Notice they threatened the seniors with a lawsuit if they refused to stop complaining about Islamic prayer being blasted from loudspeakers starting before sunrise and all day (5x /day) everyday. Wake up folks. They are forcing it on the entire town here whether they want to hear the prayers or not and threatening to sue if people (note the senior citizen who complained) don’t shut up about it!! Would it be ok for a Christian community center to open next to it (or any town USA) and broadcast sermons, prayer, hymns praising , Jesus and reciting John 3:16 over and over via the loudspeakers broadcasted throughout the town?

  9. Ally awkwa

    November 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    So you moderate all comments. Interesting. Trying to keep any criticism about your takeover of this town and ultimately America hushed right?

  10. Ally awkwa

    November 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Maybe the residents of the senior center should start holding regular pork bbq’s, with fans blowing the aroma in the very direction of the Muslim center.
    if you censor this I will call the Senior center to suggest they implement this new tradition immediately.

  11. Julie

    November 28, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Ally, please re-read the article.

    “He warned Marsh that if she continued claiming she was lied to he would file a defamation lawsuit.”

    The lawsuit threat isn’t about the complaint.

  12. Herb Spencer

    December 1, 2015 at 10:49 am

    A few legal points:
    1. There is an absolute privilege against defamation claims for any statements made in a public forum on a public issue; so much for Islam’s threats, except for what they reveal of his [its?] mindset.
    2. By enacting the law allowing the C2P to be broadcast about, the City Council violated the I Amdt. No governmental body shall to anything to advance religion or any particular religion, whether or not public funds are involved.
    3. The common law of nuisance is with the seniors and anyone else disaffected by the C2P.
    4. If I were still practicing law, I’d take up the seniors’ case in a minute – and seek maximum attorneys’ fees from those CC members who voted for the law, and bring a separate claim against Islam for threatening the exercise of Marsh’s I Amdt. rights in his official capacity, which takes care of the state action requirement quite nicely, TYVM.
    5. How many of those Muslims in Hamtramck are here legally? Those who aren’t should be deported.
    “Hope this helps!”

  13. Stewart Mobley

    December 1, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I am SOOO sick and tired of this type of nonsense.
    AMERICA was founded mostly on Christian believes and faith, or currency, In GOD WE TRUST, not Budda or Mahmud.
    If you are going to COME TO , WE DIDNT BRING YOU OR YOUR FAITH HERE THEN IT IS UPON YOU to fit in NOT the other way around

  14. Leon Eagle

    December 8, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I find it most difficult to understand that in America’s changing culture where the right of the individual is championed above all else, a religious noise can be allowed to brazenly invade any individual’s study time, sacred time, wedding, Christmas party, church service, or sleep time. It is understandable when human rights are abused in other countries where Muslims are a majority, but I am appalled to see it happening here. In Muslim dominated countries the call for prayer blasts into some peoples’ sleep time at 4:00 a.m. or a communion services where Christians gather to worship. Loud speakers are directed intentionally toward churches. (I have been there and seen it in Indonesia for the 16 years I lived there.) Can any Muslim majority community in America practice this same custom here? Just two words for America, WAKE UP!

  15. Susan Reynolds

    December 10, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    File your complaints here. The more the marrier!

  16. Pingback: Residents Complain ‘Call to Prayer’ is Too Loud in 1st American City with Muslim Majority City Council » Today's America

  17. Brien

    December 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    It is about domination! It is about a complete refusal to cooperate with the community.
    It is about refusing to have a reformation or an enlightenment.
    We know that in a modern day and age the bells of a church and this call is NOT necessary as we have watches now.
    In fact this should be considered noise pollution!
    Are you allowed to use lawnmowers before a certain time in the morning!?
    This should be considered a violation under the Constitution as the ‘council’ has made a law concerning a religion.
    The citizens should stop being cowards and literally tear the speakers down; yes illegal but then so is the noise pollution and the civil disharmony.

  18. Russell

    December 12, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Any other form of noise pollution would be treated as a nuisance, please tell me how this is any different?

  19. cookie dude

    December 13, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Why to waste time talking .. just people should get an emp and focus it on .. the loudspeaker and take it down .. problem solved .. !!

  20. Mo

    December 13, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Since everything about God has been removed out of the public same goes for prayer and prayer calls for Muslims. NO RELIGION to be forced upon anyone..that includes prayer and prayer songs or calls in public…also…sue them for disturbing the peace and for your freedom of not hearing their religion. Merry Christmas

  21. Bob Smith

    December 13, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Islam’s call to prayer five times a day is simply a form of brainwashing.

    Read how it works at:

    Here is the beginning.

    Would you wear a T-shirt with a Mohammad cartoon printed on it?

    You might in Montana. Don’t try it in Mecca.


    Because, Islam trains a small number of its most devout believers it’s OK to kill. And Islamic killers have been trained to kill anyone who insults Allah and/or Mohammad.

    In Montana you’d have a good chance none of these Islamic killers would see you.

    In Mecca you wouldn’t last five minutes. One of Islam’s killers would come from out of nowhere and kill you. It is that simple.

    You don’t believe me? Ask any Muslim!

  22. Don Davenport

    December 13, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Those complaining will be accused of “hatred”, “racism”, “bigotry”, “intolerance”, and “Islamophobia”.

  23. Pingback: Residents Complain ‘Call to Prayer’ is Too Loud in 1st American City with Muslim Majority City Council

  24. Ross Wiliston

    December 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Well, well, well…….

    The chickens have come home to roost, a sorry crop to be reaped for the sorry seeds sown.

    How do they feel?

    How do those shackles that now chafe and bind you feel?

    The shackles you now wear while your new masters gleeful laughter rings in your ears, shackles forged in the blast furnace of cowardice, indifference, arrogance, apathy and grinding deferential political correctness.

    I hope your humiliation is your lives and I hope you live forever.

    You folks deserve everything you get.

    Sincerely, R. Wiliston
    Montana, USA

  25. Pingback: Residents say Islamic ‘call to prayer’ too loud in first U.S. city taken over by Muslims | Creeping Sharia

  26. Pingback: Muslim-Controlled Michigan Town Does Things THEIR WAY | The Federalist Papers

  27. Pingback: Islamic pressures are major concerns in Michigan and Sweden | Communities Digital News

  28. ACron

    January 23, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Viewing this from Europe, I find it astounding that the Islamic community can’t see (or doesn’t seem to care) that their reputation with other groups is hitting rock. Most people know that “not all Muslims” are bad etc. etc., but these kinds of displays of inconsideration and disrespect for long-time locals and other groups is going to change that if they’re not careful. I’ve witnessed it myself over the past few weeks. Before the Cologne attacks most people where I live (Ireland) wouldn’t have batted an eyelid to this story, but now it’s seen in a negative light by many.
    As a trend, more and more people are moving away from organised religion in the West, and this kind of encroachment into peoples’ lives only reflects badly on the Mohammedan community. I’m surprised they can’t see that; I would’ve thought it’s a matter of self-preservation for any group in a supposed multi-cultural society to respect the space of others.

  29. John

    January 30, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Muslim clerics should be made to understand that audible prayers in public places or from buildings will not be tolerated

  30. Sonia

    February 3, 2016 at 6:45 am

    A church bell is charming at the right hour, and non verbal. This is an outrage. It takes a lot of nerve to think you can impose your religion on others. I’m amazed the townspeople aren’t up in arms. There should be no call to prayer. Period. This city should serve as a warning to the rest of America.

  31. gulistan

    February 7, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Truth be told. Islam and all things Islamic, in essence, are not here to become a “nuisance” of sorts to any community! The “human voice” was the “chosen” (at the advent of Islam) and still is the “preferred” (nowadays), call and invitation to join in the prayer.

    Besides, while the call to prayer is broadcast via loud speakers in Muslim countries [where some people happen(ed) to complain, actually], is pleasing to the ear, and could actually be appreciated by non-Muslims as well, while visiting those countries, it is not so, in the US. I heard it, and there was no harmony in it, when “recited” by non-Arabic natives. I know you may think this is a biaised comment, but actually it is not. And the “caller” should make an effort to “learn” first as the know-how is pleasing to most ears! But as for the high frequency of the sound of the speaker, it is a no no. “There is no compulsion, in the religion” states the Qur’an, especially in such a “commercial” community.

  32. Mr Rupa

    February 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    In England we have an over abundance of Mosques, and given that nearly over 1500 signatures were collated in opposition, and even Leicester City Council’s own Planning Officer advised against the building of the Mosque, which incidentally started off as a 4 bedroom detached house, and bought by the Islamic foundation on the lie that it would be a landscape garden, then turned into a Community Center, then Madrasa, then used as a place of worship, given retrospective planning permission to be allowed as Mosque. One of the condition of planning was a noise restrictor be fitted. As some of the more reasonable Muslims by avatar name have purported there were no loudspeakers, and indeed everyone has a watch in in this day and age an app can be developed. Muslims will argue that this is against tradition, but will allow an amplifier to be incorporated to broadcast the call to prayer. We now have over 116 Mosques in Leicestershire, England alone! The call to prayer has been so loud an environmental health of councils have after residents complained deemed it to be in breach, however in the interests of community cohesion, i.e not upset the vocal. and violent group have allowed it to carry on. With Islam on the rise, it is end of days for all non Muslims, especially when MPs, Councillors appease those who vote for them. Even Her Majesty Queen ELizabeth II who swore to uphold Christianity and indeed it was one of the condition for to rule as failed. All agencies are scared of Islam!

  33. hammad khan tatari

    February 23, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I am Muslim and I am proud Muslim and I have very strong belive in Islam and my prophet PBUH teachings !!! I wish I was there I would stand with all my society people who complaining about loud adahan,and first one to protest in front of the mosque they can’t do that it’s no where in Islam that you distrub others or that inconsiderate about others people and there concern where we live as a society !!! And it’s responsibility of the Muslims who live there and really know what is rite or wrong they should come out and speak about it !!! This is my stance only for people who are living in non Muslim countries and with other cultures and different believes !! Yes in Muslim country or where everyone is fine and ease with it what else is better to raise Allah name and call them to remember him in morning but not at the cost of ignorant and inconsiderate image of Islam!!!! Islam is a religion of love and peace and it teaches us to respect other belives too !!! Allah show all of us rite path ameen !!!

  34. Rasheed Alli

    February 24, 2016 at 9:42 am

    If Muslims must call to prayer, it should be with all sense of moderation.
    Disturbing people’s peace does not potray Islam as a religion of peace.
    These days, people have mobile phones with time. They should use them!

  35. SukieTawdry

    March 5, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    But…but…didn’t our president tell us that the Muslim call to prayer is the prettiest sound on earth? These residents should be grateful to be exposed to such beauty five times a day.

  36. JoeThePimpernel

    March 5, 2016 at 1:17 pm


    1. As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens.

    2. At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.

    3. From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves along with threats for failure to comply. At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

    4. When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam , with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam.

    5. After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues.

    6. At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare.

    7. From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels.

    8. After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in Bangladesh — Muslim 83%, Egypt — Muslim 90%, Gaza — Muslim 98.7%, Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%, Iran — Muslim 98%, Iraq — Muslim 97%, Jordan — Muslim 92%

    9. 100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace. Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in: Afghanistan — Muslim 100%, Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%, Somalia — Muslim 100%, Yemen —Muslim 100%.

  37. FatElvis

    March 5, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    All of the “diversity” the left has forced down the country’s throat has nothing to do with inclusion or love or kindness. The left does not possess any of these qualities. The left only knows how to destroy. What they have become very adept at is social engineering, which is what this pro Muslim BS is all about.
    Read the history of Islam. It is anything but a “religion of peace” Look at modern Islam and think about the religion of peace every time a car bomb goes off.
    There will be a reckoning in this country, when people have finally had enough of these muslim barbarians and the elected officials who know “what’s best” for us.
    It will not be pleasant.

  38. Don R

    March 5, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Hamtramck has now lost it’s Polish identity and has been taken over by the Islamic community. Sakrul Islam has laid his cards on the table and has pretty much said if you do not bow down to Islam then he will sue……..While the remaining Polish residents of Hamtramck have shown an overwhelming degree of tolerance towards the Muslims, it’s apparent that these Muslim invaders no longer show the same degree of tolerance to the objections of the true natives of Hamtramck………..My advice to those Polish residents who still consider Hamtramck their home, get out of Dodge…Sell your homes while you still have any value left in them and move out to the suburbs. These Muslims have not assimilated but rather brought their third world culture of depravity and poverty along with them and are now creating the same society they left………They are vermin and have nothing to offer to the boiling pot culture this country was founded on……..

  39. Mr Nick

    March 11, 2016 at 4:00 am

    Religion should stop being given a free pass. If it were anyone else blasting out music through loudspeakers like that, they’d be forced to stop.

    The quran is a load of poisonous crap, like all religious books, but in this case, using it to support the argument, there’s nothing in it saying the call to prayer must come through speakers (of course, the quran which many liars and idiots think had previously unheard of scientific knowledge in) had no information on electricity and speakers and microphones.

    Of course, it COULD have had this information, if mohammed HAD been talked to by some magical creator of the universe, but obviously one would have to be as bat sh*t crazy as mohammed, to believe that really happened.

  40. Jersey

    March 23, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Hamtramck – you must be the defenders of freedom and our Constitution. Get an injunction and require the call to prayer be private via email or text alert. It is forced religion. It is interfering with the quiet enjoyment of your property rights. Good luck and fight any attempts to have Sharia Law apply in your community. Your grandaughter’s freedom and well-being is depending on your bravery.

  41. Steve

    April 7, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Islam is not a race. It is not racial discrimination to speak out against Islam’s expression of faith being forced down our throats. The rights of non Muslims must be protected. NO MORE BROADCASTS of calls to prayer at anytime.

  42. Teddee

    April 9, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Just wanted to point out that on this thread literally every Muslim has taken the side of the complainants concerning the loudness of the C2P, yet still the majority of comments from non-Muslims are pretty hateful treatise on Sharia Law, Muslims taking over, and/or how terrible Islam is. It’s kind of shameful seeing especially as how not a single Muslim has defended the noise.

    Also, Christians aren’t exactly innocent of trying to establish theocratic hegemony in the States, have been far more successful. Espousing a Christian faith is a prerequisite for any chance at the presidency. States like Mississippi have passed laws allowing driving up to 30 passenger vans without a CDL as long as it’s a church bus (literally Jesus Take the Wheel Act), arming Christian militias (literally Christian Soldiers Act), and now legalizing discrimination against anyone who has any sex outside of a marriage between a man and woman (literally legally sanctioning not just gays but any person who’s not abstinent or married). Christians have created “dry” counties and Blue Laws all over the country, laws concerning personal sex lives, and constantly push legitimizing Christian imagery in government buildings. Things that if any Muslim group did with that gusto would immediately garner extreme public outrage.

    Maybe the huge majority of Christian Americans should look at their own community before other’s (like is demanded of the Muslim community all of the time), and if they’re so worried about Islamic law they should quit working so diligently to dismantle secularism in this country since it’s what stands between us and any theocracy. You can’t call not having hegemony the “War on Christianity,” while counting on those same laws you’re weakening to stop others from legislating their beliefs.

    Sincerely, from The Bible Belt.

  43. Thomas Engle

    April 20, 2016 at 7:52 am

    HA! I knew this would happen. Ban this call to prayer NOW!!!!!!!! TAKE BACK OUR CITY!!!

  44. Thomas Engle

    April 20, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Teddee, you’re an idiot mooslim luver.

  45. Angi Stamm

    May 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Is the call to prayer against the establishment clause of the constitution? The city council has endorsed a religious practice.

  46. Christine M Byrd

    June 13, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    My Swiss (French-speaking) friend’s Princeton Scholarship son had his first MI soccer game last week. In Hamtramk. She was going to let him drive himself. I suggested that she might want to go with him, just first time, so that she would be cognizant of the dangers. “What dangers?”, she asks me. It angered and saddened me to explain why danger now exists in our old Polish enclave. My answer: Yemeni Muslims. The poorest Muslim country, by the benevolent US, has taken over and destroyed another Detroit-area city. She needed to pay attention, as a non-Arab, uncovered Christian female, to her personal safety. Stay in the car, I told her. Keep the doors locked and the windows up. A week later she calls me, absolute astonishment in her voice. “My God Chris! These women had their entire faces covered! Never have I seen so many kids! Riding their bikes all over the parking lot, no parents, it was crazy.” Yes. The Yemenis and their home country support terrorism. These people can’t read, can’t work, abuse our welfare system, procreate like rabbits and presume that it’s all just their rights. They are poor, uneducated, impolite people who will never assimilate. They will contribute nothing to our society. This is proven. Their first cousin marriages that have gone on for centuries, leave we the People with special needs children who suck up our resources. I know this, I’ve studied it my whole life, and I’ve run out of my Christian, liberal sympathetic attitude. American Jihadists, that’s what they are. They continue to abuse our American values. Just last night one of you Muslim bastards killed more than fifty “fellow” Americans in Orlando. I have no tolerance for you Muslim Terrorists here. Destroying the US and Western Europe one day at a time.

  47. Christine M Byrd

    June 13, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    And you need to moderate my words? That’s why we keep getting killed: too politically correct.

  48. Phillip

    June 20, 2016 at 6:23 am

    What are they saying in the call to prayrr?

  49. Sam

    July 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm


    Keep worship and SOUNDS of worship in the home. Easy.

  50. Kevin

    July 19, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I think it’s time to fire up that pork rib smoker.

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