Attorney General opposes 'Muezzin Law'

Attorney General tells Arab MKs the “Muezzin Law” could cause unnecessary unrest.

Contact Editor
Arutz Sheva Staff,

Mosque
Mosque
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit is opposed to the so-called “Muezzin Law” proposed by MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), which seeks to prevent the blaring noise of mosque loudspeakers at night or in the early hours of the morning when most people are trying to sleep.

Channel 2 News reported on Monday that several MKs from the Joint List, among them Ahmed Tibi and Jamal Zahalka, met on Sunday with Mandelblit and heard from him that he is against the law.

According to the report, the Attorney General told the Arab MKs that a law regulating loud noises already exists in Israel and he is concerned that the Muezzin Law could create unnecessary unrest.

The bill was recently brought back to the Knesset after changes to it were agreed upon.

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 each Friday, joined with the Arab parties in opposing the bill.

Yogev and coalition chairman David Bitan (Likud) held consultations with the haredi parties 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.

According to the version of the law recently passed by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, any house of prayer using outdoor loudspeakers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. would be liable to pay a fine of at least 5,000 shekels ($1,333).

The legislative process on the Muezzin Law is expected to be advanced in the Knesset upon the Prime Minister's return from his overseas trip.

Arab MKs have repeatedly blasted the law. Tibi went so far as to call on the Arab public to disobey the law should it pass.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has expressed its opposition as well, with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas warning the bill “would drag the area to disaster.”

Jordan has expressed its disapproval of the legislation, saying that Israel has no authority to instruct mosques in Jerusalem what to do, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque which is under the authority of the Jordanian Waqf.