Shalom Life | October 24, 2014

Royal Ontario Museum Did Not Broadcast Muslim Call to Prayer

Audio Art Installation Included Version of the Adhan

By: News Staff

Published: May 23rd, 2012 in News » World

Royal Ontario Museum Did Not Broadcast Muslim Call to Prayer

It was recently reported that the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast loudly over the Royal Ontario Museum’s PA system, followed by an announcement inviting visitors to join in prayer. What was heard was three minutes of an audio art installation called A Time to Hear for Here by acoustic architect and composer John Oswald. Neither the Museum nor the artist is making any religious statement with this installation.

This work of art features approximately 7,000 sound events, including a version of the adhan (the call to prayer) performed by Sashar Zarif, which plays once in the 24-hour long work of art and is timed to take place with sunset in Mecca.

There is no announcement for visitors to gather and pray in the Museum at any time.

The work of art plays in the Thorsell Spirit House every day and is distributed through the 35 speakers in this space only. It was installed in June 2007 with the opening of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. In addition to the adhan, the work also features other sound elements with religious and ceremonial connotations including Beniamino Gigli’s Ave Maria by Strauss and Tanya Tagac’s solo throat singing.

“The ROM clearly understands its role as an agency of the Province of Ontario and does not promote any particular religion, but is respectful of the diversity of faith,” says Janet Carding, Director and CEO. “As a Museum of World Cultures, however, we often discuss religions, faith-related customs, sacred objects and ceremonies.”

The Museum regularly examines religion in our exhibitions and programs. For instance, the ROM's successful exhibition Dead Sea Scrolls included chanting prayers in Hebrew, which was broadcast in the introduction to the exhibition and in the area where the scrolls were on view. These recordings included the Song of Ascents (shir ha-ma'alot). In the recent exhibition, Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World, a group of contemporary Maya men are shown on film chanting prayers at a shrine.

Op-Ed: A New Low for the Associated Press Op-Ed: A New Low for the Associated Press TrendingCanadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero TrendingFrench Holocaust Survivor Indicted for Calling anti-Semitic Comedian an anti-Semite French Holocaust Survivor Indicted for Calling anti-Semitic Comedian an anti-Semite Trending
 

Startup Club: Hello Doctor

October 23, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: Hello Doctor

The revolutionary new app that allows patients to download their medical records has just received funding from companies that include Facebook and and Google

Read More

Breakthrough Jew - Nic Sheff

October 23, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Breakthrough Jew - Nic Sheff

Sheff is a best-selling author who uses his experiences as an addict to help others struggling with similar battles.

Read More

Who Was Sarah Michelle Gellar's Favorite On-Screen Kiss With?

October 23, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Who Was Sarah Michelle Gellar's Favorite On-Screen Kiss With?

Hint: It's not her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr.

Read More

Paula Abdul Wants You To "Check Yourself" During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 23, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Paula Abdul Wants You To "Check Yourself" During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The former 'American Idol' judge has joined forces with Avon for a new campaign.

Read More

Is This a Halloween Costume or Just James Franco?

October 23, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Is This a Halloween Costume or Just James Franco?

Seriously. We know Megan Fox is dressed up, but what is Franco doing?

Read More

Smart People Listen to Bob Dylan, Dumb People Listen to Beyonce

October 23, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Smart People Listen to Bob Dylan, Dumb People Listen to Beyonce

A new study has compared SAT scores to musical taste to determine what types of music people of varying intellects listen to.

Read More

Air Canada Centre Painted Blue & White As Jewish Toronto Cheers On Maccabi Haifa [PICS]

October 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Air Canada Centre Painted Blue & White As Jewish Toronto Cheers On Maccabi Haifa [PICS]

The Israeli basketball team had an impressive 21-0 run before losing to the Raptors, 92-85

Read More

Op-Ed: A New Low for the Associated Press

October 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Op-Ed: A New Low for the Associated Press

After a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a crowded train station, killing a baby, the Associated Press ran this story: "Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem"

Read More

More Headlines