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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Mosque’s Loud Prayer Generates Mega-Decibel ‘Battle of the Bands’


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Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

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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.

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About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth. Invite Tibbi to visit your blog. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


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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.

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