Looks like bigotry and intolerance may yet win the day in the dispute over the Hamtramck City Council’s decision to amend the city’s noise ordinance to allow broadcast of the Muslim call-to-prayer via loudspeakers.
Robert Zwolak, one of the organizers of the campaign, said 632 signatures were collected and “there will be more coming.” Only 552 signatures were needed to stop the amended noise ordinance, which also regulates church bells.
The signatures must be certified and the council notified of the certification by May 25 or the law automatically becomes effective May 26, City Clerk Genevieve Bukoski said. Legally, she has 10 days to certify the signatures.
On May 25, the council will have to revisit the ordinance. If members choose not to rescind it, then it is automatically suspended and must be placed on the ballot for voters to decide.
The issue could be on the ballot in August or earlier.
Personally if this is the approach they want to take then I think the City Council should go ahead and amend the noise ordinance once more to ban the ringing of church bells in the city. It should be an all-or-nothing situation. Either everyone has an equal right to make noise in honor of their religious beliefs or no one does. Otherwise the city government is giving preferential treatment to Christians over all others and is in violation of the separation clause.