Bill: Ban public calls to Muslim prayer

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) proposed a controversial bill Wednesday that would ban Muslims in Israel from blasting public calls to prayers on muezzins, or towers with loudspeakers. 

Yogev argued that the prayer calls, which issue five times per day, regularly disrupt the quality of life for non-Muslims living near Muslim neighborhoods and towns nationwide. 

The bill is expected to face staunch opposition from Arab MKs. 

"Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Israel, the Galilee, the Negev, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Yafo, and central Israel have their routine disrupted daily by noise caused by the Muezzin calls," the explanatory note to the bill reads.

"The noise created by these public calls disturbs the rest of citizens several times per day, including early in the morning and at night." 

"The bill brings a worldview that freedom of religion should not be a cause for harm to the quality of life," Yogev explained Wednesday, "and suggests to ban the use of public address systems to call worshipers to prayer, or to convey religious or national messages – and sometimes even incitement." 

MKs Mickey Zohar (Likud), Avraham Biton (Likud), Merav Ben-Ari (Kulanu), Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (Jewish Home), and Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) have cosigned the bill. 


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