The Egyptian Parliament condemned on Friday the Israeli Knesset’s preliminary reading to a bill instituting a ban of the Adhan—the Muslim call to prayer—in Jerusalem, viewing it as “racism against Muslims.”
The parliament criticised the law, saying that it “reflects racism which exceeds all political aspects, continues political bullying, and underestimates the feelings of Muslims throughout the world.”
The Knesset’s ministerial committee made a preliminary approval for the bill on Wednesday, which stipulates banning loudspeakers broadcasting the Adhan from 11 pm to 7 am. This will particularly ban the early morning Fajr prayer, one of the five daily Islamic prayers.
The committee decided to ban loudspeakers during the Fajr prayer for the regard of not disturbing people during their sleep at night. There is also another proposal, suggesting switching off all loudspeakers in residential areas at all hours.
There will be fines for up to $1,200 for mosques that refrain from applying the law—in case the law is officially approved. It needs to pass three additional readings in the Knesset before it becomes legally effective.
In March 2016, the Israeli Knesset started studying the bill after it was being drafted by several MPs with the purpose of “saving thousands of Jews from noise and maintaining the quality of the environment” and it was later approved in November, stirring global outrage. Palestinians and Muslims around the world asserted that the bill is racist and is promoting feelings of hatred against Muslims.
Moreover, a number of Israeli parties also criticised the law and expressed their rejection of it, fearing that a ban would also be imposed for the weekly Jewish call of Shabbat.