THE HAGUE, Netherlands — For Muslims, it's a high-tech call to prayer. A new cellular telephone generates five automated reminders a day at prayer time and points Muslims in the direction of Mecca.
It also contains a copy of the Islamic holy book, the Quran, in both Arabic and English.
Already available in the Middle East and Asia, Ilkone — Arabic for universe — recently went on sale in the Netherlands for its European debut.
It will be followed by launches in France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Bosnia in coming months, said Peter Suyk, the managing director of Lebara BV, the phone's European distributor.
Some Muslims were skeptical.
"I wouldn't buy one," said 15-year-old Mohammed Bouyeri, sitting outside Rotterdam's largest mosque, the Mevlana.
"It might be useful for someone at home or traveling, but not at the mosque. Everyone here already knows what time prayers are."
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