The government’s bill aimed at forcing mosques to silence their loudspeakers is touching off anger among rank and file Muslim worshipers throughout Israel.
“This is rejected, it’s an attempt to erase the religion,” said Moni Aloleimi, 44, one of the worshipers coming out of services at Jaffa’s Grand Mosque on Friday. The sermon in the Ottoman-era mosque and in many other mosques in Israel on Friday was devoted to condemning the loudspeaker bill. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the bill is not against freedom of worship but rather is needed to protect citizens from disturbance resulting from amplification of the call to prayer. Coalition parties have agreed to support a ban that would apply to nights and early mornings.