J’lem councilor to Wakf: Don’t intentionally interrupt embassy ceremony

Hassan-Nahoum said in the letter that she understood religion was valued by all the different groups in the city but should not be a taken advantage of for political uses.

By
May 13, 2018 22:25
1 minute read.
City councilwoman Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.

City councilwoman Fleur Hassan-Nahoum.. (photo credit: PR)

City Councilwoman and Yerushalmim faction leader Fleur Hassan-Nahoum penned a letter on Sunday to the Jerusalem Wakf, the city’s Muslim religious trust, asking it to prevent local muezzins from disrupting the US Embassy opening on Monday.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m., and the Asr afternoon prayer is to take place at 4:17 p.m. A source from an adjacent neighborhood told The Jerusalem Post that prayer callers planned to raise the volume and interrupt the ceremony.

The building in which the embassy will be opened, the current US Consulate, is on the border of west and east Jerusalem between the Jewish neighborhoods of Arnona and Armon Hanatziv and the Arab neighborhoods of Jebl Mukaber and Sur Bahir.

Hassan-Nahoum said in the letter that she understood religion was valued by all the different groups in the city but should not be a taken advantage of for political uses.

“Israel sanctifies freedom of worship and as a result, the imams in Jerusalem have the use of their sound systems to call for prayers, even though it in fact contravenes environmental laws on noise pollution,” she said. “I am against anyone using religion for political means, including rabbis who use scripture to suit political aims. The imams have a responsibility to the city and to their communities, and if they politicize the use of their loudspeakers, they will eventually erode their own freedom of worship.”

The municipally said it was not dealing with the issue, which it described as being under the purview of the Israel Police. The Wakf did not respond to the Post’s request for a comment.

When asked whether they were anticipating a disturbance, the police said they were “taking into consideration many aspects and possible scenarios, according to intelligence information and security assessments that cannot not be discussed [in the media].”

They said their preparations were “primarily aimed at addressing any possible scenario while enabling the regular course of events in the capital… while minimizing the damage to the day-to-day lives of the residents of the city and its visitors.”


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