JERUSALEM PM backs bill to limit noise from mosques

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IS­RAELI Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has backed a bill lim­it­ing the vol­ume of calls to prayer from mosques, a pro­posal govern­ment watch­dogs have called a threat to re­li­gious free­dom.

Mr Ne­tanyahu, speak­ing be­fore a min­is­te­rial com­mit­tee adopted the draft bill, said he would sup­port such a move that some have la­belled un­nec­es­sar­ily di­vi­sive.

The bill now faces three read­ings in par­lia­ment be­fore be­com­ing law. Is­raeli me­dia said the bill would stop the use of pub­lic ad­dress sys­tems for calls to prayer.

“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 by the ex­ces­sive noise com­ing from the pub­lic ad­dress sys­tems of houses of prayer,” Mr Ne­tanyahu said.

While the draft bill ap­plies to all houses of wor­ship, it is seen as specif­i­cally tar­get­ting mosques.

Is­rael’s pop­u­la­tion is roughly 17.5 per­cent Arab, most of them Mus­lim, and they ac­cuse the Jewish ma­jor­ity of badly dis­crim­i­nat­ing against them.

East Jerusalem is mainly Pales­tinian and tra­di­tional calls to prayer through PA sys­tems can be heard in the city. –

Photo: AFP

Pro-Bei­jing demon­stra­tors hold plac­ards out­side the Hong Kong Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil on Novem­ber 13 dur­ing a rally in sup­port of an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the city’s con­sti­tu­tion – the Ba­sic Law – by China’s Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee (NPCSC), over the oath-tak­ing at­tempts by newly elected law­mak­ers Bag­gio Le­ung and Yau Wai-ching last month.

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