by the Forward

Knesset To Vote on 'Mute the Mosques' Bill

A bill that would bar mosques from broadcasting the call to prayer on loudspeaker systems is set to come before Israel’s Knesset.

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation will vote on the bill Sunday, Reuters reported. In addition to banning loudspeakers for the prayers, which are held five times a day, the bill would also prohibit “conveying religious or nationalist messages, or even words of incitement” through such broadcasts.

“Freedom of religion does not have to be a factor undermining quality of life,” stated the bill’s backers, among them Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party, Miki Zohar of Likud party and Merav Ben Ari of Kulanu.

“Hundreds of thousands of Israelis — in the Galilee, the Negev, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and other areas in the center of the country — experience regular daily suffering from the noise resulting from the [leader of a mosque’s worship] calls in the mosques,” the bill says, according to Haaretz.

“This noise stems from the use of a PA system that disturbs the other residents several times a day, including in the early morning hours and at night.”

The law would apply to all houses of worship, but is widely viewed as targeting mosques, as churches and synagogues do not broadcast calls to prayer.

The bill is not expected to succeed, according to Reuters, which noted that the Israel Democracy Institute has called on Israeli ministers to oppose it, saying it is an attempt to “encourage the destruction of Muslim communities” in the country.

Zionist Union lawmaker Zoher Bahalul condemned the bill as part of “the government’s persecution against the Arab minority,” according to i24news.

A similar ban was proposed in 2014 but failed to win the necessary support.

This story "Knesset To Vote on 'Mute the Mosques' Bill" was written by JTA.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Knesset To Vote on 'Mute the Mosques' Bill

Thank you!

This article has been sent!