Benjamin Netanyahu backs an Israeli bill to limit the volume of calls to prayer from mosques in Israel. Government watchdogs call the proposal a threat to religious freedom.
Benjamin Netanyahu used Europe’s bans on amplified muezzins to justify his own support for a bill that wouldn’t silence the traditionally five-times-daily Islamic Adhan in Israel, but would certainly stifle it. Netanyahu, who spoke as a ministerial committee prepared to discuss the draft bill later Sunday, said he would support such a move, despite the fact that many Israelis have called it unnecessarily divisive.
“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 at the start of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
Though officials say the draft bill would apply to all places of worship, many Israelis believe that it would specifically target mosques. The muezzins’ traditional calls to prayer rings out through the day in East Jerusalem, which has a large Palestinian population. Read more