Mosque (illustration)
Mosque (illustration) Thinkstock

The coalition is working to advance the Muezzin Law, which seeks to limit the use of loudspeakers in mosques at times of the day in which they could disturb residents, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.

The law passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset last March but has not advanced since.

There are two versions of the Muezzin Law: One of them, submitted by MK David Bitan (Likud) and MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), would prohibit places of worship from using their loudspeakers between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., as well as limit the decibel level of loudspeakers used during the remaining hours of the day.

The second proposal, submitted by MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), completely bans all places of worship from using loudspeakers and levies a fine between 5,000 and 10,000 shekels for each violation.

The government set two significant restrictions that limit the promotion of the law. The first restriction is the appointment of a ministerial team to formulate a unified version of the two private bills that were approved by the plenum. The second is the demand of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation to approve the new version before it is brought to the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

In order to advance the stalled bill, the chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), has called a discussion on it scheduled for next Wednesday, reported Haaretz.

Slomiansky said that "the discussion will not necessarily take place in order to indicate the approval of the text, but to encourage the government to advance the law."

As expected, the bill has been met with great opposition from Arab MKs. MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) has called on the Arab public to disobey the law should it pass.

In addition, the Palestinian Authority has expressed its opposition, with chairman Mahmoud Abbas warning the bill “would drag the area to disaster.”

Hamas also joined in on the criticism, with its deputy leader Ismail Haniyeh warning the law would face “stiff resistance”.