Israel considers bill forcing mosques to lower volume

AP News
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Posted: Mar 08, 2017 11:05 AM
Israel considers bill forcing mosques to lower volume

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's parliament has passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers.

Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles.

Devout Muslims pray five times a day, starting around 5 a.m. In Israel, the call to prayer is often loud enough to wake up residents in Jewish neighborhoods near Muslim communities.

Supporters of the bill say it as a matter of quality of life. But Arab citizens of Israel see it as an affront.

Arabs make up one-fifth of the population; they enjoy full rights but face discrimination in some areas. Many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians.