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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
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Mosque’s Loud Prayer Generates Mega-Decibel ‘Battle of the Bands’


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Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

After the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem has decided to play very loud music, in defiance of the volume and disturbance of the sound of the muezzin at the mosque in nearby Al-Issawiya, two additional Jewish neighborhoods, Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Choma, have announced that they, too, will take up a similar approach. French Hill also decided to go with hard rock, and not Mediterranean tunes, as had originally been planned, because, as they put it, hard rock is more likely to deliver the message.

According to Yediot Jerusalem, the French Hill neighborhood has recently approached an amplification company with an order for four huge speakers to be directed at Al-Isawiya. As soon as the village muezzin will start his exceedingly loud prayer, it will be responded to with ear shattering Rock n’ Roll, letting local Arabs understand how disturbing the loud prayers have been to their Jewish neighbors.

Har Choma and Pisgat Ze’ev residents are waiting to see the results from the French Hill “pilot.” If the protest via rock blasts succeeds, the other two neighborhoods, situated on the border of the Jerusalem municipality, will follow suit.

Har Choma residents are coping with the sound of the muezzin from the villages of Umm Tuba and Sur Baher. Pisgat Ze’ev residents receive their 5 daily Muslim inspiration calls from Beit Hanina, Shuafat and Anata.

Jerusalem’s city hall has attempted to negotiated between Al-Issawiya village head Darwish Darwish and the residents of French Hill. Darwish promised to regulate the noise level, but the French Hill residents are saying nothing has changed, and the muezzin call continue to reach unbearable decibels.

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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87 Responses to “Mosque’s Loud Prayer Generates Mega-Decibel ‘Battle of the Bands’”

  1. Gary Rumain says:

    LOL! Brilliant!

  2. Heshy R says:

    Rock'n'roll!

  3. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Hmmm… Weighing the merits of calling people to praise God vs deliberate effort to thwart that objective

  4. Guy Serbin says:

    The issue here is that said audible calls to prayer occur at 4-5 AM in the morning. If they only occurred mid-day or early evening no one would be complaining.

  5. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Thanks for adding that, Guy. Too bad that point isn't in the article. It would seem then this is a civic matter and, if the masjid has agreed to a change, the municipality should be more aggressive in getting that compliance. Cheering-on an escalation to the proble seems counter-productive.

  6. Reuven Lavi says:

    what should we play to the beitar people when their parties get too loud? remembering that it's tough to choose something that won't be a reward to the Nehalin residents up the hill, and vice versa when THEY do the noise. Maybe something connected to the IDF?

  7. Riiiight. So the municipality can then be accused of religious intolerance.

    If there were any concern at all for the rule of law, they would have complied already. They don't care about the law, and the municipality doesn't enforce the law.

  8. Guy Serbin says:

    That was mentioned in a different article elsewhere (http://www.jpost.com/Features/InThespotlight/Article.aspx?id=277028). The problem is that Israeli authorities are loathe to interfere with anything related to religion, even when said religious activities are excessive (for example, they don't enforce laws banning polygamy on Muslims either, even though said laws apply to everyone regardless of religion). I'm not saying the muezzin can't do his call to prayer at 4 AM, I'm just saying that he shouldn't use an amplifier then to do so. Please note also that this is the Middle East, and in opposition to traditional Western mentality, one has to prove to his adversary that he's crazier than they are. Hence the blasting of hard rock. But ultimately, the issue here is the failure of the local government to enforce the law prohibiting making loud noise during sleeping hours. The government should make it clear that the law is the law, and your desire to declare your religion superior to all others does not supersede the law or the right of others to a good night's rest. Fining or arresting a muezzin who makes obnoxiously loud noise early in the morning is not a human rights violation- he can do so without waking up people for kilometers.

  9. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Thanks, Guy, for providing a broader context with the link. I concur this is a civil matter and the parties in violation of civil ordinances should be fined. It's a matter of law, not religious freedom. This seems like a no-brainer. Instead it's become another opportunity to polarize an already aggravated community. I'll see you your crazy and raise you one of ours.

  10. It is also a big problem at Mahara Hamachpaeylah….

  11. Davide Shalome says:

    Joyce, there is a difference between calling the faithful in their village to prayer and deliberately raising the volume knowing full well that it is disturbing. I live in Gush Etzion, we also have this problem with several kfarim (villages) . Today in the age of technology when 99% of the Muslim population walks around with cell phones and beepers why they can not be alerted to prayer by SMS or beeper

  12. Chaya Goldstein says:

    I once had upstairs neighbors who blasted music late at night. Nothing worked. Not talking to them. Not banging on the ceiling with a broom. What did work was blasting "One Man's Ceiling is Another Man's Floor" even louder than their music. Go for it!

  13. Aneela Afzal says:

    Be resonable….if the masjid has agreed to a certain noise level which is acceptable by all around, then the people in position need to make sure the rules are implemented and followed. Countering the noise with childish behaviour is only going to escalate the problem…..be civil.

  14. Popeye Zatar says:

    moses is crying in his grave. oh wait they don't believe in moses they believe in the devil I forgot because only the devil will stop people from praying sorry.

  15. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Rules are rules. Paul McCartney and The Boss had the plug pulled on their concert in Hyde Park last weekend when their playing went past curfew. :) http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/07/16/156840164/twist-but-dont-shout-mccartney-springsteen-have-plug-pulled-in-london?ft=1&f=1001.

  16. I HAVE READ ABOUT HOW THE BRITISH , UNDER THEIR MANDATE RULE, ARRESTED ANY JEW WHI BLEW THE SHOFAR AT THE WALL, AS IT "UPSET" THE MUSLIMS.
    PERSONALLY, I LOVE THEM LIKE THEY LOVE THE JEWS.

    BUT THEY HAVE TO COME TO SOME ARRANGEMENT TO TONE DOWN THEIR CALL TO PRAYER, BECAUSE, IF THE CARY ON WITH THEIR LOUD CALLS, AND ISRAEL DOES SIOMETHING IN RETALIATION, IT WILL CAUSE MORE TERRORISM.

    I THINK THE ASNWER IS TO TELL THE MUSLIMS THAT THEY EITHER TURN THEIR CALL DOWN SO THAT EVERYONE CAN SLEEP, OR ELSE, DISCONNECT THEIR ELECRICITY.

    WE DONOT WANT TO HAVE MORE WARS.

    THIS IS SOMETHING THEY HAVE DONE FOR MILLENIA. WHAT DID THEY DO BEFORE ELECTRICIRTY? HOW DID THEY CALL THEIR FAITHFUL TO PRAYER THEN?

  17. Shakib Ahsan says:

    i doubt if any rock and roll or rolling heads for that matter will be able to silent a call that has been on for 1400 years day in day out. if you believe that some punk music will be able to achieve what ten crusades couldn't accomplish then you should clear your ear canal.

  18. Yves Fridman says:

    The state of Israel is meant to be the model of diversity & tolerance in the middle east and we take pride in that.
    Now I'm not another spineless liberal and I grew up with Rock'n Roll, However, I hate to see us resorting to such irrational behavior, while there's always a more civilized (more Israeli) way of finding a solution, and that's what haf always differed us from the Arabs… just saying!

  19. Yves Fridman says:

    The state of Israel is meant to be the model of diversity & tolerance in the middle east and we take pride in that.
    Now I'm not another spineless liberal and I grew up with Rock'n Roll, However, I hate to see us resorting to such irrational behavior, while there's always a more civilized (more Israeli) way of finding a solution, and that's what had always differed us from the Arabs… just saying!

  20. Chaiya Eitan says:

    How about vary it from night to night…one night heavy metal; another night classical; another night Mizrachi; another night 60's rock, etc., etc.

  21. Brian Cooper says:

    Just blast some Justin Beiber…THAT will fix their asses..

  22. Cassandra Victoria says:

    Noise jihad: it works both ways! Heh!

  23. If the Temple Mount Institute wants to make something of it, I can put them in contact with an organisation of shofarists from around the world, including gentile folks, to organise an event to allow hundreds of shofars to drown out the offensive noise. Shalom and have a nice day, Brian Patmore.

  24. Josiah Ching says:

    Barney's 'I Love You' over and over again. :-p

  25. Gary Rumain says:

    Shakib Ahsan A bullet to the head of the pig dumb enough to climb up that minaret will solve the problem very quickly.

  26. Gary Rumain says:

    No point telling arselifters to be civil. They are vile scum.

  27. Shakib Ahsan says:

    gary the way the jews are roasting themselves in protest over price rise, pretty soon they will be scaling those minarets to test gravity.

  28. Mark Bird says:

    Start with Led Zepplins "communication Breakdown".

  29. Mark Bird says:

    Followed by Led Zepplins "Your Time is Gonna Come"

  30. Mark Bird says:

    Then maybe some Cat Stevens Hits Like

  31. Mark Bird says:

    Mohammed and Son

  32. Mark Bird says:

    Lady D Saudi

  33. Mark Bird says:

    Wind of my dead Muslim Soul

  34. Mark Bird says:

    Sad Obama

  35. Mark Bird says:

    Hard headed exploding Muslim woman

  36. Mark Bird says:

    Into White Burkas

  37. Mark Bird says:

    Im on My way to see Osama

  38. Mark Bird says:

    I Love my Goat

  39. Mark Bird says:

    But I mighrt Die Tonight (Its the Mossad)

  40. Mark Bird says:

    The first throat cut is the deepest

  41. Mark Bird says:

    Where do the children pkay with Kalishnakovs

  42. Mark Bird says:

    Here comes my camel

  43. Mark Bird says:

    Here comes my baby wife

  44. Luana Goriss says:

    Are you coming Saturday night? Just off the subject.

  45. Mark Bird says:

    Most probrably

  46. Shakib Ahsan A few gallons of enema will clear your arse canal as well. How about that for a solution, arselifter?

  47. The slapheads in Indonesia and Malaysia hates Lady Gaga so that could be an option to try as well.

  48. All arselifters deserve to feel the wrath of the Metal Gods every day of the year. If they can't handle it, the solution is simple. Move to a pislamic country instead.

  49. Arselifters also have an aversion to black canines so Black Dog would probably also annoy them. Zep has other fine tunes as Rock'n'Roll, When The Levee Breaks and Kashmir.

  50. Greg Bares says:

    Joyce Schriebman

  51. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Joyce, it is five times a day….and it is a provocation on their part. How did they do this before the advent of electricity?

  52. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Shakib Ahsan Hey…how was it done before the advent of electricity??? This is a deliberate provocation on their part.

  53. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Which was a stupid thing to do…..

  54. Greg Bares says:

    Joyce, your point is all warm and fuzzy, but what you forget is that these people are not praising the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but rather a figment of a psychomaniac, murderous, neurotic named mohammed. This is paramount to saying that we should support a loud "call to prayer" by the neo-nazis five times a day. In both cases the "call to prayer" is the diguise used to mask the call to murder ALL Jews and Christians and anyone else who won't convert their thinking to that of the evil perpetrator. Get a grip on reality Joyce, you may not have much time left to do so.

  55. A noise ordinance could work perfectly. This would be for all, across the board.

  56. Yves Fridman says:

    I have no doubts about that, but as tempting as it sounds,
    I refuse to behave like arabs.

  57. Brian Cooper says:

    Ms. Schreibman,…..=self-hating Jew? Guilty about Israels prosperity vs. the muslim choice to repeatedly go to war every time they can hatch another crop of cannon fodder?

  58. Joyce Schriebman says:

    LOL. Nope, Brian. Love being a Jew and being part of a people who value open dialogue, self-reflection, critical thinking and chesed.

  59. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Actually, Popeye, Muslims do believe in Moses. (And Jesus, and Buddha, and…)

  60. John Cerny says:

    This has to be strictly addressed by Authorities! Beat Moslems by noise don't help. Chinesse government instructed local authorities to be severe and harsh to the moslems. Any kindness and benevolence they understand as a weakness and became arrogant and violent. Strictness of authorities make them obedient and civilized. I witnessed loud noise during Sukkot from Har HaBayit at 4 AM. But Jews at Old City called police and complained when bunch of christians sang hebrew songs at Hurva Kikar. But they were sure not as noisy as the mezzuzin loud speakers.

  61. Mark Bird says:

    Kashmir might be a bit too comfortable for them

  62. Abdul Rehman says:

    mother****er palestine is islamic.

  63. Omar Salah says:

    Greg Bares, maybe you should get a grip of reality, you have no idea of the hate and misinformation you are spewing! The neo-nazi here is YOU for spreading such pitiful indoctrination!

    Allow me to educate you, Mr redneck. Not only have you offended our religion by saying that our God is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But you blaspheme by suggesting that we worship Mohammad!

    Murder all Jews and Christians? Oh how you are mistaken on this account, for the record, they are the "people of the book" and deserve respect, we don't just round them and execute them like barbarians, it is not allowed!

    So Mr. Bares: An ardent viewer of the indoctrinating Fox News who possibly thinks HE has a grip on reality? You fail to amuse me.

  64. Josiah, that's probably a human rights violation!

  65. Janet Clifford says:

    Marcus you worried about 'more' terrorism? Read what's happened in Bulgaria today. You are kidding yourself any provacation any terrorism any murder providing it's a Jew on the receiving end.

  66. Janet Clifford says:

    You obviously don't live anywhere near a call to prayer at some unearthly hour in the morning followed by four other calls to prayer. Very easy sitting in the comfort of San Francisco pontiticating how Iraelis should be nice and understanding while they are driven to distraction by this noise polution.

  67. Andy Marcus says:

    Knowing nothing about the facts on the ground sure doesn't stop you from weighing in, Joyce.

  68. David Wendt says:

    Not Buddha, but yes, Muslims believe in Moses, Adam and Eve, Abraham, David, Solomon, Jesus as Messiah (but not God as Christians do), etc. You can get a free copy of the Koran and you will be fascinated by the many stories that come from Tanakh with little changes here and there. Solomon talked to birds and ruled over the gin, for example.

    Nevertheless, Joyce, I think Popeye's comment was supposed to be about Jews, not Muslims because he seems to think that asking people to pray without disturbing the peace is trying to "stop people from praying."

  69. Mouses Minny says:

    The Muslims are now doing this is Western countries, in places in USA and Europe.

  70. Joyce Schriebman says:

    I don't think I'm pontificating, Janet, about Israelis being nice and understanding (although that's not a bad thing.) I'm saying it's a civil disturbance matter and the mosque should comply with whatever ordinance is in place. If they don't, there are protocols and consequences (fines or whatever is written in the civil law.) Israel is a democracy with codes for law and order. It's not the wild west.

  71. Janet Clifford says:

    You mean the mosque will comply in a democratic fashion? Well they haven't and Israel is not the wild west today Bulgaria is.

  72. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Thanks, David. Apparently I missed that point. :) FYI, Buddha is not mentioned by name in the Qur'an but I believe The Buddha is referenced. I'll provide the citation as soon as I can… Where are you an Adjunct Professor?

  73. I hope they play DEATH ON TWO LEGS by QUEEN in response to the muzzie noise.

  74. That's what they are doing in al-Khalil in front of the Ibrahimi Mosque. Do you really think punk music or old sad jewish tunes from from eastern europe will silence the call to pray that have existed for 1400 years?

  75. Before electricity, the muezzin used to shout louder so he could make sure that everybody hears it. Thats exactly the point. .

  76. I was standing in central Bethleme, between the Omar al-Khattab mosque and the Nativity church. The church bells and the call to prayer came out at the same time, nobody objected, it was all normal, christians and muslims living side by side in harmony. Israel has so much to learn from the palestinians.

  77. Anonymous says:

    How about ringing all the church bells, too? I hear muslims really hate church bells.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Gary Rumain Parasites is more like it.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Guy Serbin The muslims got along w/the calls to prayers before loud speakers. So it should be again, esp in early morning.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Joyce Schriebman And the way the Biblical stories are retold is like the "gossip game." They resemble the original but are bent at odd angles, like the Fractured Fairy Tales cartoons that went w/Rocky and Bullwinkle. You can recognize them but they are highly unorthodox in the retelling. Shabbat Shalom.

  81. Joyce Schriebman says:

    Thanks, ihsxp2000. Yes, it is difficult to track down and reassemble our familiar biblical narratives in the Quran. If we look at the Quran as a holy book for a different religion, a holy book that reveres the great teachers that came before, then it's easier to accept the Quran, not as a retelling of our Christian and Jewish stories, but a new revelation for new religion. When viewed that way, it stands to reason these stories are retold with a different emphasis. I've spent time comparing the stories, and it's fascinating to see the similarities and differences…I've learned a lot about my own tradition studying these shared texts.

  82. David Wendt says:

    In the early parts of the Quran, Muhammed makes the point that Jews have the message in their language, Christians in theirs, and now you (Arabs) have it in your language as well. He seems to think it's the same message (although later there are accusations of Jews and Christians tampering with their Scriptures.

    "O people of the Scriptures! now is our Apostle come to you to clear up to you much that ye concealed of those Scriptures, and to pass over many things. …And to thee we have sent down the Book of the Koran with truth, confirmatory of previous Scriptures, and their safe- guard."

  83. Shakib Ahsan says:

    Robin Shadowes if you want a permanent solution i would say nothing works better than a german solution, but its a little outdated. how about rdx?

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