The mayor of Lod has issued an apology for his visit earlier this month to a local mosque which had violated noise laws and a police order not to use loudspeakers at night during the Eid al-Adha festival.
On September 1st, Mayor Yair Revivo was notified that a local mosque was using loudspeakers during its Eid al-Adha celebration in the middle of the night, disturbing local residents and violating police orders to the imam.
After coordinating with police, Revivo made his way to the mosque, where he spoke with the imam, calling on him to adhere to noise regulations and disconnect the loudspeakers.
The imam refused and a group of Muslim worshippers gathered around Revivo as the argument became increasingly heated.
At one point a fight broke out and Revivo was attacked and his cellular phone stolen. Local police failed to intervene, Revivo claimed, and the city declared it would impose sanctions on the police department in response.
“Last night the police warned the imam of the mosque [not to use the loudspeakers before dawn], but he didn’t really seem concerned by it,” Revivo said. “I went to the mosque [early Friday morning] and was surprised to find that despite what had been agreed upon [between the city and the police], no officers were present.”
“I contacted the police and told them to come,” continued Revivo. Later, “the deputy chief of the local station came. A fight broke out [at the mosque], and I was attacked by a group of worshippers, and I suffered injuries to my hand and my cell phone was stolen. All of this happened in front of the police, who simply watched and did nothing. A total humiliation and an outrage.”
A week after the incident, however, Revivo issued an apology, saying that his visit was “hurtful to the feelings” of worshippers at the mosque.
In a letter to Lod residents this last Friday, Revivo wrote: “Last week the wonderful coexistence that our city has had for decades was tested.”
“The incident which occurred last Friday was regrettable. My arrival at the mosque was hurtful to the feelings of our Muslim brothers, and for that I apologize. I had no intention of causing harm to the Muslim place of worship or to prevent them from praying.”
“We will work together to maintain the status quo in Lod, and whenever there is a disagreement, we will sit down together and come to an agreement.”