Mosque Fires Prayer Caller over Bodybuilding Photos

(L)A muezzin calls the faithful to pray at the main mosque in Turfan, an oasis town in northwestern China's Xinjiang region, 09 May. Xinjiang, a huge desert region populated by 63 percent minority groups of the Moslem faith, allows religious freedom but at the same time keeps close control over …

The Jerusalem Post reports: A prayer caller at a mosque in the Israeli city of Acre is appealing for his job back after being fired over photos posted online of him in a revealing outfit at a bodybuilding contest.

Ibrahim al-Masri said he lost his job as chief muezzin of the Al-Jazzar Mosque after local officials came upon the photos of him at the state bodybuilding championship in 2017.  “Each sport has a specific type of clothing. Football has its own, tennis has its own, swimming has its own. Same thing for bodybuilding,” Masri said, referring to the wire-thin briefs competitors typically wear.

“I never dreamed this would happen. Because I know that Israel is a democratic country, and if someone makes a mistake, they can fix it,” Masri said. “But to fix a mistake with another mistake? It’s not right.” Around 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arab. Mosques and other non-Jewish religious institutions are supervised by local officials who report to the Interior Ministry.

A ministry spokesperson said that Masri “was dismissed in accordance with all the rules” but declined to give further details about the case. The mosque declined to comment and referred questions to the ministry.

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