Are mosque loudspeakers too loud?
Photo: Haim Hornstein

Are mosque loudspeakers too loud?

MK's call for turning down volume of mosque loudspeakers sparks debate among Arabs

Knesset Member Esterina Tartman likely did not intend to spark an intense debate among Arabs, but her call to turn down the volume of mosque loudspeakers did just that.


Recently, Tartman turned to Environment Minister Gideon Ezra and demanded that he order the mosque in the Palestinian village next to her hometown to turn down the volume of Muezzin loudspeakers.


The sensitive request, which was made in the midst of the holy month of Ramadan, became the talk of the day on many Arabic-language websites. Soon, Arab talkbackers were engaging in a fierce debate regarding Tartman's request.


As could be expected, most respondents slammed Tartman and defended their right to maintain loud calls for prayer.


"If it annoys you, go back to the place you came from, and stay away from the holy country that you tainted, you Zionist!" wrote Abu-Ali from Jerusalem. "Those who get annoyed by this are the enemies of Allah and the infidels," wrote Shihab. Meanwhile, a talkbacker identified as Hamdan wrote: "I’m not surprised at Tartman's request. She is an enemy and occupier, she is not Muslim, and she fights Islam. Yet regrettably, there are also Arab and Muslim states that want the same thing."


However, some Christian Arabs expressed different views. "The loud voice of the Muezzin is bothersome, and anyone who says otherwise makes a fool of himself," wrote a Palestinian from Bethlehem. "Did the Koran order you to install such loudspeakers in order to disturb others?" he wondered.


Another Bethlehem resident wrote: "My Muslim brothers, first, I wish you a blessed month of Ramadan…we do not say that the Muezzin is damaging or anything like that, but rather, that it's disruptive. When we and our young children are asleep, why do we deserve to be woken up because of the loud voices? This country belongs to all of us, and it's also the cradle of Christianity. And don't tell me 'go to France' etc. We need to respect each other."


However, Muslim talkbackers were quick to respond. "There's nothing more annoying than church bells," wrote one person. "If you don't like it, go to countries like France and Turkey that ban the Muezzin, you traitor," wrote another Muslim.


Some Muslim respondents even resorted to threats. One wrote: "We will permit your killing. We know who you are – signed, al-Qaeda."


פרסום ראשון: 09.20.08, 19:56
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