The Israeli Ministerial Committee on Legislation discussed on Sunday draft legislation which could limit the Muslim call to prayer in Israel, as Palestinian citizens of Israel expressed their fears that such legislation would represent a severe violation of freedom of religion.
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the committee was set to “consider draft legislation on limiting the magnitude of noise from public address systems in houses of prayer in Israel.”
The call to prayer — also known as the adhan — is broadcast five times a day from mosques or Islamic centers.
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) November 5, 2016
The bill calls for barring the use of loudspeakers for any religious or “inciting” messages as part of the call to prayer.
It remained unclear on Sunday evening if the committee had made a decision regarding the bill.
“I cannot count the times, they are simply too numerous, that citizens have turned to me from all parts of Israeli society, from all religions, with complaints about the noise and suffering caused them by the excessive noise coming to them from the public address systems of houses of prayer,” Netanyahu said.
Jerusalem: Occupation 'cracking down on Muslim call to prayer' https://t.co/crRh0ycvJc < Muslim call for prayer part of culture of Jerusalem
— Kamel Hawwash (@kamelhawwash) November 3, 2016
Locals said that Israeli authorities banned the dawn adhan from being projected over loudspeakers in three different mosques in the Jerusalem district town of Abu Dis earlier this month, a day after Israeli settlers protested in front of the house of Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat over the “noise pollution” caused by the Muslim call to prayer.
Palestinian communities in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem have long been targeted by discriminatory Israeli policies, whether through “divide and conquer” tactics, attempts at forcibly displacing Bedouin communities, and what has been denounced as a policy of “Judaization” of Jerusalem at the expense of other religious communities.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)