TEL AVIV – The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem has slammed the city’s plan to lower the volume of the public call to prayer in the capital’s Muslim neighborhoods, saying anyone who doesn’t like it can “leave.”
Sheikh Muhammad Hussein called on Palestinians to oppose the “occupation’s” attempts to silence the call to prayer “in Al Quds and the entire Palestinian homeland.” Al Quds is the Arabic term for Jerusalem.
The mufti continued by suggesting that those who don’t like it should leave.
Whoever is bothered by the call to prayer “in the land that Muhammad arrived at and from which he rose to heaven, must leave it, since he is a foreigner in it, and because his ears are not used to hearing the truth,” he declared.
His declarations come on the heels of a report by Hadashot TV on Tuesday that the Jerusalem municipality is formulating an agreement with senior Islamic clerics in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods to lower the volume emanating from mosques.
The proposal will replace the existing speakers in mosques in the neighborhoods of Beit Safafa, Beit Hanina, Shuafat and Jabel Mukaber with smaller speakers with a lower decibel range. Loudspeakers that have noise-reduction function will also be installed in streets in the mosques’ vicinity, ensuring that the call does not exceed the permissible level delineated in the Noise Prevention Regulations.
Israel’s police will also be authorized to lower the volume if the regulations are not adhered to.
Replacing the speakers will cost between $13,000-$18,000 each.