A bill proposing to silence loudspeakers in houses of worship will be put to a vote before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation this coming Sunday.
The bill, proposed by MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), would prohibit all houses of prayer from using loudspeakers. The ban was designed to end the loud muezzin call to prayer played from mosque loudspeakers five times a day across the country.
"Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, in the Galilee, the Negev, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and some places in central Israel, suffer routinely and daily from the noise caused by the muezzin calls," say the explanatory notes to the bill. "This noise is created by the use of a public address system which disturbs the rest of the citizens several times a day, including early morning and night."
MK Yogev explained that "the bill brings a worldview whereby freedom of religion should not cause harm to the quality of life, and suggests that houses of worship be prohibited from using loudspeakers to call worshipers to prayer or to convey religious or nationalist messages, which sometimes even include incitement."
The “mosque bill” was to have been voted upon last March but was removed from the committee’s agenda before the meeting.
In 2011 a similar bill was proposed by then-MK Anastasia Michaeli of Yisrael Beytenu. The bill won the support of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, yet ultimately failed to pass.