Thank you, Mayor Jim Watson and the City Council

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The Muslim Community in Ottawa would like to convey deep feelings of gratitude to Mayor Jim Watson, the Council and City Staff for their support during the COVID Crisis - particularly the permission to publicly broadcast the evening call for prayers.

We feel that this decision not only benefits Muslims but it also shows that the municipal government cares about the religious communities of Ottawa and stands for the rights of religious freedom. This decision can help foster a peaceful society, eliminate the fear of "others" and create a better understanding between different communities.

This bylaw also showed that the call for prayer, broadcasted only once a day in the evening is not disruptive to our communities. Since the mosques are shut down due to the current crisis, the decision made by the city has boosted the morale of the Muslim community that feels that the government cares not only about the Muslim community but also other religious communities that may be impacted similarly in the future.

This decision also helps people learn more about the Muslim call to prayer and what it means - creating more understanding and awareness and reducing potential intolerance that stems from lack of awareness. 

This decision is a step in making Muslims feel welcome into Canadian society which can boost the social and economic well being of our city and our country. 

Lastly, we do not believe that this decision is a violation of human rights and religious freedom in any way. In fact, we believe that this decision is a clear statement of the government's stand on religious freedom.

The decision by the City of Ottawa to allow the Muslim call to prayer is fully supported by our community and we thank you for making this happen!