Israel’s anti-azan bill draws more fire

Al-Aqsa Compound—An Israeli bill that aims to bar mosques from using loudspeakers for the call to prayer (Adhan) in the occupied East Jerusalem has continued to draw more criticism on Wednesday.
In a statement, Jordan-run Organization for Muslim Endowments and al-Aqsa Affairs said the controversial bill amounted to a war on Islam.
“The bill poses a challenge for all Arabs and Muslims in the city of Jerusalem,” the organization said, adding that the bill reflects Israel’s intention to Judaize the holy city.
“This racist decision is tantamount to war on Islam and Muslims around the world,” it said.
On Saturday, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill before it goes to the Knesset (parliament), where it then must pass three rounds of voting before becoming law.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed the bill enjoyed a wide popular support, while Palestinians have roundly condemned the move as a blatant violation of Palestinians’ freedom to worship.
Earlier, Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh warned that the Israeli bill will drag the region into a disaster.
“The Israeli actions are completely unacceptable,” he said in a statement. “The Palestinian leadership will go to the UN Security Council and to all international institutions to stop the escalating Israeli measures.”
Palestinian group Hamas, which has governed the blockaded Gaza Strip since 2007, described the bill as “an outrageous provocation to the sentiments of Muslims everywhere and unacceptable interference in worship and religious practice.”
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming Jerusalem as the unified capital of the Jewish state — a move never recognized by the international community.
Sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.—Agencies

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