PATERSON, NJ - Using his Second Ward council seat to strike a firm stance for religious freedom, Councilman Shahin Khalique put forward legislation Tuesday that would allow religious entities to audibly announce their meetings without fear of running afoul of a noise ordinance already on the books.
Known as an “Adhan” in Islam, the notices ring out five times a day across the globe, summoning those following the faith to prayer.
Pointing out that Paterson’s Muslim population continues to grow, Khalique clarified that language in his proposal also protects other religions as well, including through the ringing of church bells across the city.
“This is a step to towards tolerance and acceptance,” Khaliqe said of the measure, before offering a nod to Paterson’s diversity.
“Our community is a tapestry of faiths and cultures,” he told TAPinto Paterson. “This ordinance acknowledges the respect we have for various religions in the City of Paterson.”
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