Jordanian official: Israel can't tell mosques what to do

Jordanian official criticizes the “muezzin law”, says the "Israeli occupation" cannot force mosques in Jerusalem to stop the call to prayer.

Elad Benari,

Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Muammar Awad/Flash 90

A Jordanian official on Tuesday criticized the so-called Israeli “muezzin law”, which would ban places of worship, such as mosques, from using loudspeakers that disturb residents.

The bill is aimed at limiting the noise of the muezzin, the Muslim who calls followers to prayer five times daily.

The undersecretary of Jordan’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Abdullah Abbadi, denounced the law and said that any decision by Israel with regards to Jerusalem's holy shrines is “false and insignificant”.

"An occupier cannot make any historical change to the city it occupies, and things (must) remain the same without any change,” he told Jordan’s official Petra news agency in a statement.

Abbadi, who is also director of the department on Al Aqsa Mosque affairs, stressed that the call of the muezzin from the loudspeakers of the Al Aqsa Mosque “will remain forever.”

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the “muezzin law” on Sunday, but it must still be voted upon in the Knesset in order to become law.

A preliminary vote had been schedule for Wednesday, but on Tuesday evening Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) filed an appeal against the legislation, on the grounds that that if the law is approved in its current form, it could prevent the use of sirens in some cities in Israel to announce the start of the Sabbath.

Jordan is not alone in its criticism of the bill. The proposal has also come under fire from Arab MKs who see it as specifically targeting mosques since synagogues do not have public address systems.

In fact, MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) on Tuesday called on the Arab public to disobey the law should it pass.

"I call on all my people to disobey this law until it reaches the third reading and is approved. We are also disturbed by the Friday and Saturday sirens (announcing the Shabbat), we too cannot travel on Yom Kippur and festivals because of you, but we don't speak about it, we don't protest," he said.

In addition, the bill has also been criticized by the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders threatened Israel with “consequences” if it passes, including action in the UN.




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