Israel's Prime Minister wants noisy mosques to pipe down

Israel's Prime Minister wants noisy mosques to pipe down November 14, 2016

Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday said he backed a bill limiting the volume of calls to prayer from mosques – and  he is now being accused of threatening religious freedom.
Speaking before a ministerial committee adopted the draft bill, the Israeli Prime Minister reportedly said:

I cannot count the times – they are simply too numerous – that citizens have turned to me from all parts of Israeli society, from all religions, with complaints about the noise and suffering caused them by the excessive noise coming to them from the public address systems of houses of prayer.

The bill now faces three readings in parliament before becoming law.
Israeli media reported that the bill would ban the use of PA systems.
While the draft bill applies to all houses of worship, it is seen as specifically targeting mosques.

Israel’s population is roughly 17.5 percent Arab, most of them Muslim, and they accuse the Jewish majority of discriminating against them.
East Jerusalem is also mainly Palestinian and traditional calls to prayer by muezzins through PA systems can be heard in the city.
The Israel Democracy Institute, a non-partisan think tank, has spoken out against the proposal.
Yesterdsay, one of the watchdog’s officials accused Israel’s right-wing politicians of dangerously using the issue to gain political points under the guise of improving quality of life.
Nasreen Hadad Haj-Yahya wrote in Israeli newspaper Maariv that “the real aim” of the bill:

Is not to prevent noise, but rather to create noise that will hurt all of society and the efforts to establish a sane reality between Jews and Arabs.

Netanyahu heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history.

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  • Daz

    Yeah, it probably distracts the snipers when they’re shooting at Palestinian kids having picnics. Wouldn’t want that, would we.

  • Bill Bonk

    Muslims … always in your face. They just have to be a goddam obnoxious nuisance. There is much better technology available to call the muslims to prayer … like an activation of the smart phones they all have. Feel a buzz up your nightshirt? Then get onto your knees and pray. That way muslims get notified and everyone else is spared the divisive bile laden howling of the imams. But no … they will not change because they know that non muslims are pissed off with having islamic culture forced down their throats.

  • bill

    Set up banks of high power PA systems, like Oasis or Led Zeppelin used and drown out the imamic wailings with very loud heavy rock music.

  • Angela_K

    This call to prayer nonsense is as mad as the continued use of church bells in the UK. It may be a surprise to the religious, but cheap time-pieces have been available for many years. And, if the sticking your arse in the air several times a day is so important, buy a watch you cheapskates.

  • Laura Roberts

    What the hell did they use before there was electronic amplification?

  • L.Long

    Actually Bill that is a good idea. If the silly muslins want their noisy crap, then we can have ours and when the gov’mint tries to enforce noise ordinances, we just point to the mosques and say after them!!!!! And if the gov’mint does nothing to mosques and stops us then that is also illegal and sue the pants off them!!!

  • Vanity Unfair

    To bill:
    Turned up to 11?
    I note that electric and electronic church bell systems are now available and used .
    Somehow, the thought of real people pulling on real bell ropes makes the noise less objectionable, to me at any rate. I wish they would play tunes though. (I studied at Loughborough. They have a carillon in the park for secular use.)

  • Dionigi

    I think the muslims should be able to have their culture, stop all modern PA systems and make them climb the tower to call the faithful to prayer and stop them broadcasting the sermon.

  • John

    It would also mean that the ringing of church bells in places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth could cease.
    While most of us probably could not care less about this, might it not be detrimental for the business interests of the religious organisations who rely upon religious tourism?
    For this reason alone (money talks) I doubt it will go through.

  • John the Drunkard

    What qualifies a loud-speaker as ‘traditional?’ Under Islamic Tolerance™ Christians and Jews were forbidden to ring bells, sing in their services, or speak loudly enough for ANY Muslim to hear them. Of course, plenty of Muslims were ready to loiter next to churches and temples with their ears to the wall.
    In Egypt, amplified muezzins have been used to harass Coptic and Jewish neighborhoods.
    Some level of noise control would be a reasonable thing. Recorded church bells can be obscenely loud. I don’t know if Haredi jerks include any special noise-making in their activities.
    Still, the insanely loud ‘calls’ are not rooted in any deep tradition and some accommodation would be reasonable…so good luck making any headway on THAT front.

  • Newspaniard

    Where, in their hate book or the hadiths is the power of amplifiers mentioned? I’d look it up, but I leave that to experts.

  • I adore it when religious communities turn against one another, and religious individuals attempt to do harm to other religious persons. This always gives me a huge buzz, and greatly appeals to my misanthropic nature.

  • John

    In the UK, we have noise pollution laws which could be adopted elsewhere. See
    The key legal data is as follows:-
    The permitted noise level using A-weighted decibels (the unit environmental noise is usually measured in) is:
    •34 dBA (decibels adjusted) if the underlying level of noise is no more than 24 dBA
    •10 dBA above the underlying level of noise if this is more than 24 dBA
    Noise meters can be bought to measure the ambient noise levels anywhere.