Bill barring mosques from blasting call to prayer withdrawn


(JTA) — A bill that barred mosques from broadcasting the call to prayer on loudspeaker systems was withdrawn by its sponsor.

Knesset member Moti Yogev of the Jewish Home party reportedly withdrew the bill on Sunday before a ministerial committee vote after being unable to obtain support from lawmakers in the government coalition.

In addition to banning loudspeakers for prayers, which in mosques are held five times a day, including before dawn, the bill also prohibited “conveying religious or nationalist messages, or even words of incitement” through such broadcasts.

The bill applied to all houses of worship, but was widely viewed as targeting mosques, since churches and synagogues do not broadcast calls to prayer.

Yogev plans to add two changes to the bill that could make it easier for lawmakers to support: prohibiting the use of the loudspeakers during legal rest hours in the country and setting a decibel level threshold, according to Haaretz.

A similar ban was proposed in 2014 but failed to win the necessary support.

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