A bill prohibiting the use of public address systems outside houses of prayer, a.k.a. “Muezzin Law,” was submitted a second time for a preliminary plenum vote and is expected to receive an expedited procedure, Walla reported Monday. According to the revised version of the bill, houses of prayer will be prohibited to use their exterior PA systems from 11 PM to 7 AM. This both reserves Israeli mosques’ right to use their exterior loudspeakers to call Muslims to prayer five times a day, and no longer threatens the use of Jewish pre-Shabbat alerts. The bill, which also limits the decibel levels of those exterior PA systems when they are being used, was submitted by MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud).
The bill calls for a fine of between $1,300 and $2,600.
It is expected that the Muezzin Law, which initially got a hostile reception from most Arabs – although some revealed secretly the law would bring much needed relief to their families – will be expedited through the plenum and in committee, so that it can be presented next Sunday at the Ministerial legislative committee. The bill’s language prohibits nighttime use of the exterior PA systems of all houses of worship, although in practice this only means mosques and their practice of calling on the believers to dig out their prayer rugs and start prostrating.
“Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in the Galilee, Negev, Jerusalem and other locations in central Israel suffer routinely and daily from the noise caused by the PA systems of houses of worship,” goes the “Muezzin Law” introductory segment. “The proposed law introduces a worldview according to which freedom of religion need not be a source of interruption of citizens’ sleep, suggesting houses of worship limit the use of their PA systems overnight.”JNi.Media