Muslims pray at Temple Mount.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordan came out on Tuesday against proposed Israeli legislation which seeks to ban mosques from using outdoor speakers to announce the call to prayer.
The so-called “muezzin bill,” after the Muslim call to prayer, was authorized by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.
Jordan's undersecretary for Islamic Affairs and Wakf, which administers over Jerusalem's Al-Aksa Mosque, spoke specifically about the bill as it would pertain to Jerusalem's mosques.
"An occupier cannot make any historical change to the city it occupies, and things (must) remain the same without any change, a fact that underlines that any Israeli decision on Jerusalem is false and insignificant, for the city is under occupation," Abdullah Abbadi told Jordan's Petra News Agency.
Abbadi said that the Muslim call to prayer, played over the loudspeakers at Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount five times a day, would be played forever.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threw his support behind the bill on Sunday, saying in a cabinet meeting that “citizens of all religions” have complained to him countless times about noise from the muezzin.
“Israel is committed to freedom for all religions, but is also responsible for protecting its citizens from noise. That’s how it is in cities in Europe. I support similar legislation and enforcement in Israel,” Netanyahu said.
MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi), who proposed the legislation, said that hundreds of thousands of Israelis from the Galilee to the Negev, Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, “suffer regularly and daily from noise caused by the muezzin’s calls from mosques.”
“The bill comes from a view that freedom of religion should not harm quality of life,” he added.
Nabil Abu Rudineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said Monday that the bill would "lead to catastrophes."
“These measures are completely unacceptable, and the leadership will go to the Security Council and all international institutions to stop these escalatory Israeli measures,” he said, referring to the loudspeakers bill and another bill geared toward legalizing illegal outposts in the West Bank.
The bill must still pass four Knesset readings before it can become law.