Dozens of activists took to the streets Friday in different Arab cities and towns across the country Saturday to protest a bill that would reduce the sound of the Muslim call to prayer, saying the proposed law would is an "assault on Islam and Christianity."
Arab activists gathered in the cities of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Sakhnin in the north to protest what demonstrators called an Israeli attack on the Arab minority, and the "exploitation of religion to start religious wars in the region," according to Israeli-Arab news site Asshams. Protesters held signs that read "your racism is nasty and disgusting," and "we deplore the assault on Islam and Christianity."
The bill would also affect Christian church bells in addition to the Muslim call to prayer in addition to any loud noise emanating from houses of prayer.
The so-called "muezzin bill" was proposed by Israel Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli and has support from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It would ban the use of loudspeakers to project the call, a ubiquitous sound throughout the Middle East.
According to Michaeli, the call to prayer, called the idhan in Arabic, disturbs many city residents living close to mosques, especially in the early hours of the morning when the first of the five daily prayers is announced by the muezzin shortly before dawn.