Nyarugenge Bans Speakers on Mosques

The Kigali downtown mosque. Muslims may need to only wake up and go to the prayer without waiting for the Adhan message

From now on, Muslims in Nyarugenge District in the capital Kigali who were used to wake up to loud sounds of the mosque speakers calling for prayer – Adhan are compelled to find an alternative.

A new notice by Nyarugenge District has called upon all the mosques under its jurisdiction to desist from using megaphones, as a security measure and prevention of noise pollution.

“During the churches and mosques inspection in Nyarugenge sector on February 19, 2018, it came to our attention that mosques use megaphones installed on their buildings and this causes noise pollution,” wrote Charles Havuguziga, the Executive Secretary of Nyarugenge sector in the directive.

The sector is home to the biggest mosques of the city, including the mosque in down town Kigali, and the Biryogo mosque – near former Onatracom and others.

But Havuguziga says that the mosques ought to live in harmony with their neighbors.

“I am requesting you to desist from using the speakers and find an alternative communication which does not cause noise pollution as you call the followers for prayer,” the letter goes on without setting any further repercussion to non-compliance.

Havuguziga’s letter attracted media attention with journalists not believing it.

“The media has been calling me on one similar question. Just bear in mind that the instruction is not specific to Nyarugenge sector. Other leaders might have communicated through other channels, but mosques all around the city have speakers and from what I know, they are all concerned by such directive,” Havuguziga said.

The Mufti of Rwanda, Sheikh Salim Hitimana told KT Press that they were surprised by the decision.

“We are going to meet the authority that issued the directive and discuss this decision. We will then share our stand,” Sheikh Hitimana said.

The past few weeks have seen Rwanda conduct a nation-wide inspection of churches and mosques.

Compliance with hygiene, construction master plan, noise pollution and quite several other criteria are checked by the teams in the exercise.

More than 1000 churches have so far been closed and in many cases, they were compelled to complete all requirements before they are allowed to reopen.

In the countryside, hundreds of churches are also being closed.

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