Taxpayer-funded BBC begins broadcasting Islamic call to prayer across U.K.

by Adam Ford · Apr 19th, 2020 7:49 am
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Last Updated Apr 19th, 2020 at 8:35 am

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the state public-service broadcaster funded by taxpayers, has begun, for the first time, to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) across the U.K. every Friday at 5:50 a.m., "in an effort to be more inclusive of the country's diverse population."

The broadcast will also feature different imams reciting verses from the Quran and quotes from Muhammad before delivering Muslim sermons and leading listeners in prayers.

Arab News reports:

Different imams lead the 5:50 a.m. broadcasts every week on 14 BBC local radio stations, reciting verses from the Qur'an or quotes from Prophet Muhammad, before delivering sermons and leading listeners in prayer.

"Local radio is all about connecting communities, and we hope these weekly reflections will go some way to helping Muslims feel a sense of community while they are isolating," said Chris Burns, the head of BBC Local Radio.

The words of the adhan, first in Arabic transliteration and then in English:

Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah. Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah.
Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah. Ashadu anna Muhammadan Rasool Allah.
Hayya 'ala-s-Salah. Hayya 'ala-s-Salah.
Hayya 'ala-l-Falah. Hayya 'ala-l-Falah.
Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
La ilaha illa Allah.

God is Great! God is Great! God is Great! God is Great!

I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.

I bear witness that there is no god except the One God.

I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.

I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.

Hurry to the prayer. Hurry to the prayer.

Hurry to salvation. Hurry to salvation.

God is Great! God is Great!

There is no god except the One God.

The broadcasts will supposedly end once the coronavirus lockdown eases and Muslims are able to go back to mosques for worship.

? Muslims comprise about 5% of the U.K. population.

The BBC, a state entity, is funded by U.K. taxpayers.

Per the Associated Press:

The broadcaster gets most of its money from a license fee paid by every television-owning household in the country, which currently stands at 154.50 pounds ($201) a year. Failing to pay can result in a fine or, in rare cases, a prison sentence.

In 2018, more than 121,000 people were convicted and fined for license fee evasion. Five people were imprisoned for not paying their fines.

The license fee is classified as a tax.


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