The speakers will be louder than a jet engine and will be heard up to 15 miles away in Solihull and the Black Country. The speaker system will primarily be used to announce the call to prayer in Arabic 5 times a day, starting at 5 o’clock in the morning, angering some local residents that they will be woken up even though they aren’t Muslim.
Terry Gardner, a painter and decorator from the outskirts of Birmingham had this to say: ‘Its nonsense that I’m going to get told to pray five times a day, even though I’m not a muslim, can’t they just give everyone a text message, it would be a lot quieter’
Up to 5,000 people will be able to attend the mosque at any one time, bringing traffic in the area to a halt at the beginning and end of each service. Worries that this will finally cement the area of inner city Birmingham as a no go area for non muslims are raising tensions in the city, and it is unknown whether being able to hear the new speaker system 15 miles away will affect the services of other religions.
With vicar Simon Montpellier, of St Annes in the Gable’s Church complaining: ‘The local mosque broadcast’s its call to prayer over the top of my morning service, and it just winds me up, christians have been practising in this country for 1,200 years, and we shouldn’t be drowned out now because someone worked out how to connect a microphone to an amplifier’
What is sure is that some people are going to be woken up, to be asked to go to a mosque 15 miles away, for a religion they are not a part of. Birmingham Council may have a lot to answer for in the near future.