Call to Prayer Defies COVID-19 in El Vendrell

Yesterday’s post about Spain included a video clip by the Spanish populist party Vox that highlighted the contrast between the official treatment of Christians and that of Muslims under the Wuhan Coronavirus restrictions.

After a public outcry, the authorities in El Vendrell were actually forced to do something — or pretend to do something — about Muslims who violated social-distancing regulations to swarm an imam who bellowed the call to prayer in the street.

The following two news videos report on the official response in El Vendrell. Many thanks to Pampasnasturtium for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.

Video #1:

Video #2:

Video transcript #1:

00:00   The ‘Youth And Sports Association of Catalonia’ in El Vendrell
00:04   had informed the town council that they were planning to hold a call to prayer
00:08   for the Muslim community (adhan) this Friday.
00:12   The event was to take place when only a few days remained before the start of Ramadan next week,
00:16   and was intended to be held at a site on the road leading to Valls crossing Serafí Pitarra street,
00:20   considering that the mosque is closed as a measure to combat Coronavirus.
00:24   The idea, according to the organization’s managers,
00:29   was that the call to prayer would be led by the imam of the mosque on his own,
00:33   with only the president of the organization next to him, who had set up the event.
00:37   Nevertheless, starting at approximately 8pm, people started coming closer together around the imam.
00:42   In a few minutes some fifty believers managed to gather,
00:46   despite the presence of El Vendrell’s local police.
00:50   This has caused much discontent among the citizens of the town,
00:54   who via social media have criticized the fact that the group of persons who attended the adhan,
00:58   ignoring the lockdown, was not broken up.
01:02   The organizers have apologized for the outcome, and state that the idea was that the believers
01:06   would follow the adhan from their houses —
01:10   that was the reason the imam was speaking through a megaphone.
01:13   A local TV station team had been summoned with the aim of broadcasting
01:17   the call to prayer, thus avoiding people coming out onto the streets.

Video transcript #2:

00:00   Local police will ID the persons who ‘went against the measures
00:04   set by the Royal Decree’ and will act accordingly.
00:08   That’s the way the institution made it publicly known in a press release on social media
00:12   after the outrage created by a gathering of some fifty persons
00:16   last Friday to listen to the call to prayer by the imam
00:20   on a corner of the Vendrell-to-Valls road.
00:24   Also, the local town council released a press brief stating that, just as the police say,
00:28   it was an ‘unauthorized public event’. The police explain
00:32   that given the disproportion between the number of individuals gathered
00:36   and the number of policemen present they were unable to do anything other than
00:40   Ensure traffic safety on the road. For the moment a report has been filed
00:44   to sanction the organizers, by leaving written paper trail of the events,
00:48   identifying the organizing entity, other than trying to retrieve images
00:52   of the persons who ignored the lockdown. The police state
00:56   that they share the concern and the disposition towards this ‘appalling
01:00   lack of civic respect towards others who scrupulously comply
01:04   with the lockdown’. The municipal government in its press release
01:08   also states that ‘they regret and understand the anger of citizens
01:12   who in an exemplary way respect the lockdown’.
01:17   Finally, the president of the ‘Youth And Sports Association of Catalonia’, Ahmida Jadaoun,
01:21   has explained to RTV El Vendrell that he regrets the events
01:25   and has apologized to the neighbors in the town, stating that
01:29   the intention was for the imam to do the call to prayer
01:33   via megaphone to avoid people coming out of their homes,
01:37   but that they were unable to control things.

4 thoughts on “Call to Prayer Defies COVID-19 in El Vendrell

  1. These type of government actions are just for show. They do it in Australia, introduce new laws to placate the pubic and no one gets prosecuted. We’ve got great laws on the books but it’s an honesty system; honest people follow them and dishonest people don’t and it doesn’t matter. Our muslims were given greater freedom as well – why?

  2. With the control imams have over their flocks this seems rather disingenuous. How does that saying go…better to apologize after rather than get permission before? Or something along those lines.
    This is not the only nor the first incident showcasing the difference in treatment between moslems and non moslems in any country one can name.
    I venture to guess that had this been a gathering of 50 or so Christians the police would not have had a problem breaking this up.

  3. We really are begging for it. The Muslims are just obliging. Try sending in an all female force to sort them out.

  4. The iman has to pay the fines for 50 persons. It’s his responsabitliy otherwise everybody has the right to assemble. And cancel the call of Muslim’s Imam which is an insult to our civilization.

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