Friday, October 30, 2009

Abusive use of religious noise


While recent rioting in and around Jerusalem's Old City has left religious tensions between the capital's Muslims and Jews simmering, a new dispute - this time concerning the volume of prayers, more than the prayers themselves - is resonating in outlying neighborhoods.

Jewish residents of these areas, all of which are in close proximity to Arab neighborhoods in the capital's east, have begun to complain that the adhan, or Islamic call to prayer, which is broadcast five times a day from loudspeakers inside local mosques, has become an intolerable nuisance, particularly when it blasts through their neighborhoods at 4 a.m. every day.

"It's as if they took the speakers and put them inside my bedroom," Yehudit Raz, a resident of the northeast Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "And it's not from one mosque or two mosques - we're talking about tons of speakers going off, one after the other, every morning." [...]


  1. Well they knew that when they moved in...

    So if they did not want it, why did they choose to live there?

    You cannot always have your comfort by restraining the liberties of the other.

  2. Knew before said...

    Well they knew that when they moved in...
    what utter nonsense. Life is all about restraining liberties and expressing liberties and getting the balance right.

    There is no unlimited right to make noise and the Arabs are well aware that they are irritating - which is why the volume keeps going up.

    They have no religious requirement to make noise and disturb others.

  3. "what utter nonsense."

    Are you saying the moslems suddenly started the custom of calling to prayer early in the morning?

    When I was in Natzeret 20 years ago they did just that.

    So the custom certainly is not new.

    "Life is all about restraining liberties and expressing liberties and getting the balance right."

    You are right. People who move into a neighbourhood knowing full well that the Muezzin calls on a badly recorded tape at 3 in the morning and than trying to silence the muezzin do not get this balance right. I would call them troublemakers.

  4. Knew before knows nothingOctober 30, 2009 at 3:34 PM

    People have a right to live where they want in peace. If the Arabs are making too much noise according to the legal code (dina demalchusa), they must stop. While you may wonder why people chose to move close to Arabs to begin with, they have a right to ask that the law be enforced.

  5. "People have a right to live where they want in peace"

    If you want to live in peace and quiet right next to Ben Gurion Airport, the airport will not stop operating because of you.

    There is always a balance to be found between differing interests.

    The situation in places like Gilo and Pisgat Zeev seems quite delicate to me, since the arabs do not really want jews to live there. So they cannot keep them from moving in. But in my opinion it would mean to impose too much on them if you come without being invited and also want them to change long-standing customs because of you.

    Then there might be plain legal complications as to which law applies, but I am not familiar with the intricacies of those questions.

  6. Knew before knows nothingNovember 1, 2009 at 4:53 AM

    How can you compare an airport which borders on eminent domain for the public good to Arabs violating noise codes? With the Arabs, there are simply laws being enforced for the first time because someone complained.

  7. This is in response to Knew before you said...

    This has nothing to do with long established customs. These people blast their minarets way louder in areas near Jewish settlement. This is not what I think, this is what I know from experience. In Israel and other Muslim places that I have been.


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