Israel is home to some 1.5 million Arabs, many of them Muslims, so hearing the Muslim calls to pray blasted from the minarets of local mosques is not uncommon. But in some areas the noise pollution can be unbearable, and such is the case in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev.
Bordered on two sides by densely-populated Arab neighborhoods, the residents of Pisgat Ze’ev are forced to hear these calls to prayer, the first coming at the crack of dawn, from not one, but dozens of mosques.
There is actually a law against such noise pollution that specifically requires mosques to find alternative, less invasive means of calling the faithful to prayer. But, like many such laws, they are not enforced for fear of sparking Muslim violence.
Jerusalem city council representative Yael Anteby told Israel National News that enough is enough, and that the law must be enforced in all sectors of society equally.
“We do not wish to foster divisions within the city. [But] we hope to see police act against the noise made by the [Muslims],” Anteby said. “We must act against lawbreakers, because when we do not, it just gets worse.”