The controversial Muezzin Bill limiting loudspeakers for religious purposes is to be discussed again in Knesset to move forward towards implementation. Protests and outcry against the bill have taken place within Israel and abroad.

Islamic mosques

Islamic mosques Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90

In the upcoming week, members of Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee will be moving forward with the controversial Muezzin Bill limiting religious loudspeakers at certain hours of the day. The bill has received backlash as it has been interpreted as an attempt to silence the Muslim call to prayer.

The bill will limit the volume in relevance to the time of day that the loudspeakers can be used for religious purposes. Critics of the bill are calling it a violation of religious freedom for Israel’s mosques and Muslims. Supporters of the bill insist that the bill serves to ensure that Israelis can sleep through the night without being awoken by the call to prayer. Further, supporters insist that this same bill and movement is also taking place in nearby Arab and European countries.

Protests have taken place throughout the country by Israeli Arabs who are claiming the bill impedes on religious freedom. Neighboring Arab countries have also spoken out against the proposed bill.

The bill still has a long road ahead of it before implementation if it passes. The bill will need to be approved in three Knesset readings in order to become a law. Two versions of the legislation are to be discussed in the Knesset prior to a vote in the session regarding the bill.