Israel-Palestine Conflict: Imam Fined For Using Loudspeakers For Islamic Call To Prayer In Lod City
By Vishakha Sonawane / International Business Times
November 23, 2016
“We shall not be deterred by threats and fines. We have always said that everything can be solved at the negotiating table, and through dialogue and mutual respect rather than by force.”
Law enforcement authorities in Israel’s Lod city, located 9.3 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, fined a Palestinian imam for making an Islamic call to prayer through a loudspeaker at a local mosque, according to reports. Authorities said that the action violated the anti-noise law in the Shnir area of the mixed Arab-Jewish city.
Mahmoud Alfar, the spiritual leader of the mosque, said he did not get any formal notice related to the fine but officials told him that it will be mailed to him, according to a Haaretz report on Monday. He will have to pay 750 shekels (US$ 194) as fine. Alfar’s brother Sheikh Adel Alfar told the Israeli newspaper that this was the first time the city fined an imam for noise caused by the call to prayer.
The Israeli parliament is mulling a controversial anti-noise legislation, dubbed the “muezzin law.” Muezzin refers to man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of mosque, mostly using loudspeakers. Knesset proposed the bill on November 13 and said that it would restrict the use of loudspeakers at mosques in the country to tackle noise. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supported the bill, which was criticized by Muslims, Jewish and Christian communities.