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Attorney-general to Arab MKs: I’m against ‘muezzin bill’ – Arab-Israeli Conflict

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A mosque in Abu Ghosh with its minarets towering above.
(photo credit:REUTERS)

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit opposes the so-called “muezzin bill,” a proposal to ban religious institutions from using outdoor loudspeakers at night.

The Jerusalem Post‘s sister publication Ma’ariv reported on Tuesday that in a meeting with a group of lawmakers from the Joint List on Sunday, Madelblit said that he is against moving the bill forward in the Knesset. He explained that in his opinion, Israel’s existing noise law is enough to deal with the situation.

Regarding his objection to the bill, Madelblit said that “whoever needs to know is already aware.”

Adhan , Muslim call to prayer , sung by a Muezzin in Mecca , Saudi Arabia at a central mosque during the Hajj , or pilgrimage [credit: INTERNET ARCHIVE ,]

Last week, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted in favor of government support for a new version of the legislation that was submitted by MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) and MK David Bitan (Likud). It was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to delay the preliminary plenum vote on the bill for now.

According to the revived text, it would be forbidden to use outdoor speakers to call to prayer in residential areas from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. It also includes a larger fine for violating the law – NIS 10,000.

During the meeting, Mandelblit and the Joint List MKs discussed other issues that concern the Arab public such as freezing the demolition orders in Arab villages and promoting urban master plans that will meet the necessities of the society. It was reported the MKs also raised the issues of the rising tide of crime in the Arab sector, recognition of Beduin villages in the Negev and allegations of racist statements by other lawmakers.

Arik Bender/Ma’ariv contributed to this report.

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