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Arab anger after Netanyahu threatens to stop call to prayer

Arabs and Muslims have reacted with anger following remarks made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for a ban on the call to prayer from mosques, the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

During the weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that his government decided to enforce a number of laws including those which deal with “noise and incitement made in mosques”, referring to prayer calls.

General Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories and preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Mohamed Hussein said this was a “warning” to mosques.

He stressed that the prayer call is a “subtle supplication addressing the soul, not an incitement call that arouses the interference of the occupation in Muslims’ religious affairs.”

Members of the Arab List warned that the Israeli PM’s remarks “are repeated and dangerous attempts by Netanyahu to get political gains throughout cheap incitement against Arabs.”

Head of the Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi said: “Such remarks feed the atmosphere of racism.”

Aida Touma-Suleiman, another Arab MK, said: “The one who describes the prayer calls as a kind of racism is seeking to divert the eyes from the aggressive policy of the occupation and the ugly discrimination and racist soul being planted among the citizens against Arabs.”

“Netanyahu has to deal with issues as head of a government, not as an autocratic military ruler.”

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