The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has banned the recitation of the Qur'an and the call to commence prayer, the Iqaama, over the loudspeakers of mosques in the occupied West Bank.
The banning order announced a strict prohibition of the use of loudspeakers in mosques for the recitation of the Qur'an or the call to commence prayer. It further specified that no sounds were allowed to emanate from mosques by way of loudspeakers during preparations for prayer or during the call to prayer itself. Loudspeakers are now only permitted for use inside mosque buildings. The decision also states that anyone wishing to listen to the Qur'an should carry a small copy for personal worship.
In many of the West Bank's mosques, worshippers expressed strong condemnation, dissatisfaction and rejection of this order, particularly after realising that copies of the PA's decision had been displayed in numerous mosques across Ramallah. Worshippers also noticed that a number of mosques were "silent", with neither the usual Qur'an recitation nor the Iqaama being heard. Mosque caretakers have as a matter of custom followed such procedures prior to the start of the congregational prayers.
Opponents of the PA decision say that Ramallah's Ministry of Endowments is not satisfied with its detention of imams, muezzins (those who call people to the prayers) and mosque elders and so has started to threaten dozens of those holding these positions in local communities. As is the case in most Middle East countries, the Friday sermons delivered in mosques across the West Bank are written by the Ministry of Endowments as if to emphasise its complete authority over religious affairs.
Source: The Palestinian Information Centre