The ‘Muezzin Law,’ which limits the noise level of the muezzin who calls Muslims to prayer five times daily, thereby disturbing the peace of citizens across the country, was brought back to the Knesset on Thursday after changes to the bill were agreed upon.
The bill was proposed by MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) to deal with the blaring noise of the Mosque loudspeakers in cities and communities where Jews and Muslims live in close proximity. The loud noise causes disturbances which affect the quality of life of residents, especially when sounded at night or in the early hours of the morning when most people are trying to sleep.
The original bill stalled when the haredi parties in the coalition, fearing that it could be used to silence the Shabbat sirens which announce the beginning of the Sabbath twenty minutes and five minutes before candle-lighting each Friday, joined with the Arab parties in opposing the bill.
MK Yogev and Coalition Chairman David Bitan held consultations with the haredi parties recently to find a compromise which would allow the law to pass. The new version of the law would only affect calls to prayer issued at night, removing any concern that the Shabbat sirens, which sound before sundown, would be affected.