Israeli authorities have banned the adhan, or call to prayer, in three mosques in Abu Dis, a Palestinian town just outside of the Old City in Jerusalem, local sources said Saturday.
The ban was enforced after Israeli settlers in Pisgat Ze’ev protested the adhan to Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat, on Thursday, complaining of noise pollution.
Bassam Bahr, a lawyer in Abu Dis, told Ma’an News that Israeli forces raided the town just before Fajr prayer on Friday.
Loudspeakers are commonly used to give adhan for prayers, because they can reach the community. The point of adhan is in its name, the call to prayer. It is a call of unity, calling all members of the community to pray in unison.
Al-Rahman, Al-Taybeh and Al-Jamia mosques were targeted, Bahr said. Israeli forces told the muezzins there, who are responsible for giving the call to prayer, that the Fajr adhan was banned from being played through loudspeakers.
Loudspeakers are commonly used to give adhan for prayers, because they can reach the community. The point of adhan is in its name, the call to prayer. It is a call of unity, calling all members of the community to pray in unison. The adhan is made up of the Takbir, “Allahu Akbar,” an expression of faith that translates to “God is greater,” followed by the Shahada, the testimony of every Muslim that God is one and Muhammad (PBUH) is his messenger.
The entire substance of Islam and its beliefs is contained in the adhan. It is relayed by mosques all over the world, five times a day, as a reminder to the community to join together as one, and turn to God. Because of the growing Islamic communities, loudspeakers are necessary to reach the people in town and remind them of prayers. Now, it seems Israel wants to ban community prayer by banning the adhan.
Mayor Barkat was only looking to come up with a solution between ‘Jerusalem District police and local Muslim leadership,’ that would both protect religious freedom and keep noise to a reasonable level in Jerusalem. It turns out a reasonable level for Israeli authorities is silence.
According to Ma’an, Mayor Barkat was only looking to come up with a solution between “Jerusalem District police and local Muslim leadership,” that would both protect religious freedom and keep noise to a reasonable level in Jerusalem. It turns out a reasonable level for Israeli authorities is silence.
Adnan al-Husayni, the governor of the Palestinian Authority of Jerusalem, said the sound of the adhan never rose above the previously agreed level, Ma’an reported. Israeli settlers were instead actually annoyed by daily reminder of Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, he told Ma’an.
Muslims condemned the ban and saw it as interference with their religious practices. Sheikh Ekrema Sabri told Anadolu Agency that the real noise disturbance “was the incessant buzzing of Israeli warplanes over Palestine.” He told them the sounds of “occupation tanks” and “bulldozers” were way more unbearable than the call to prayer.
Israeli authorities have long been targeting Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank. Banning the adhan is just one of the many ways they have attacked Palestinians’ freedoms. From demolishing homes, to detaining citizens, to denying them medical treatment, Israeli forces have always worked to erase Palestinians from the land by stripping them of their rights and identities.
Boo-hoo, I’m crying?
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