This is a slightly revised, previously posted, yet still timely article, due to the renewed coalition discussion today about MK Moti Yogev’s important bill calling for a ban on the Islamic public call to prayer.
Yogev’s bill is similar to a previously submitted bill by former MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) which had called for a ban on the usage of public loudspeaker systems to call Muslims to prayer – called the idhan in Arabic – and any other sound emanating from a religious institution that is considered noise pollution.
The five times daily Muslim call to pray from the mosques, often as early as 4.00 AM, has long been a terrible disturbance for Israelis who live near Arab towns or neighborhoods. The loudspeaker system used for these announcements can be heard clearly in the early morning hours when most people are trying to sleep, and therefore, it is a rude disruption of sleep and a blatant infringement on the rights of hundreds of thousands of Israelis.
Ilatov had explained, when submitting his similar bill in the previous Knesset, that many countries in the world have placed constraints on noise pollution and noise levels, including several European countries that have specifically restricted the use of these loudspeakers as an infringement on the rights of individuals. In Amsterdam and in Austria, it can only be broadcast on Fridays, and at a reduced decibel level. In France, public loudspeakers may not be used at all, while in Belgium the muezzin’s call cannot be broadcast. As for Switzerland, mosques are no longer allowed to build minarets, the tower from which the call to prayer emanates.
As usual, the Muslims are crying foul, complaining that their religious freedom is being impinged upon. Perhaps someone should point out to them that many Jews also get up for daily prayers, often as early as 5.00 in the morning at certain times of the year. No Jew would ever request a public wake-up call that would undoubtedly disturb those other people who for some strange reason would like to wake up a bit later. We Jews have actually found a novel way of waking up – It’s called an alarm clock.
Nonetheless, the issue is much greater than an unwanted morning wake-up call. Israelis, Americans, and other folks who believe in freedom should understand that this “call to prayer” controversy is symptomatic of a much larger problem that is coming soon to a country near you. As the Muslim populations grow, the demand for Sharia law (the oppressive Muslim law that demands submission to Islam) will grow. When that happens, wife-beating, death sentences to those who leave Islam, and a ban on all non-Muslim forms of worship will become the norm in every Islamic-dominated country.
We don’t need a 4.00 AM wake-up call to see the writing on the wall. The Islamic race to Sharia law is speeding up, especially in the Western countries. We Israelis should set a good example by respecting the rights and needs of Israel’s citizens. Yes to alarm clocks, and yes to this excellent bill that should quickly be approved into law.
Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News