NYC says mosques can now broadcast call to prayer on Fridays and during Ramadan without a permit

New York City mosques can now broadcast the Islamic call to prayer freely on Fridays and during evenings in the month of Ramadan without a permit, Mayor Adams said Tuesday, seeking to foster a spirit of religious inclusivity in the five boroughs.

Under NYPD guidance outlined by the Adams administration, mosques’ ability to amplify the adhan, or call to prayer, would not be undercut by sound regulations during the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar. Adams said the city had previously lacked clarity on mosques’ rights to broadcast the call to prayer.

Adams’ office said mosques would be permitted to broadcast the prayer call from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays and at dusk during Ramadan, a monthlong religious holiday that begins in March.

“You are free to worship in New York City, and we embrace all religion or faith,” Adams, a Democrat, said in a news conference at City Hall.

“If you are a mosque or a house of worship of any kind,” the mayor declared, “you do not have to apply for a permit to amplify your call to Friday prayer.”

Adams, an outspoken Christian, said the mosques should keep the volume of their calls to a “reasonable level,” but said the adhan must be allowed to echo just as “Christian church bells ring on Sunday.”

“Under the law, we are all treated equally,” the mayor said.

The mayor’s office said the Police Department would work to communicate the new guidance to mosques across the city, and to ensure that calls are broadcast at appropriate volumes during Ramadan.

It is not clear exactly how many Muslims live in the five boroughs, but the number is thought to be above 100,000, and perhaps as high as 800,000.