THE KABABIR MOSQUE in Haifa..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A senior figure in the Shas party has described the “muezzin bill” as “unnecessary, saying that there is no need for the measure and that current laws can be used to require mosques to reduce the volume of the call to prayer.
Residents of mixed neighborhoods or Jewish neighborhoods close to Muslim ones have stridently complained in recent years that mosques use extremely powerful loud-speakers when issuing the call to prayer which wakes people late at night and in the early hours of the morning.
“There is no need for the muezzin bill, it is possible to halt the noise [of the call to prayer] according to the Law for the Prevention of Nuisances and [its] regulations,” said the senior official in a statement to the press on Wednesday morning released by Interior Minister Arye Deri’s spokesman.
The “senior official” said the problem at present is a lack of enforcement of the existing laws. He labelled the new “muezzin bill”, proposed by Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev as“unnecessary” and a measure that would “injure the honor of many citizens.
He also noted that the law could inadvertently lead to a ban on the sirens which notify citizens that Shabbat or Jewish holidays have begun, and would therefore support the appeal agains the bill submitted by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.
The Shas figure added that Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin who is responsible for the Law for the Prevention of Nuisances, and Minister for Internal Security Gilad Erdan all supported the law.
However, following an enquiry by The Jerusalem Post
, a spokeswoman for Elkin said that the minister did support the bill and had voted in favor of it in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.