An Arab lawmaker yesterday raised the Muslim call to prayer (adhaan) in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) in protest at a bill that would limit the prayer call.
Ahmad Tibi said his move was meant to protest the Israeli bill that aims to bar mosques from using loudspeakers for the call to prayer in East Jerusalem and Arab communities in Israel.
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“This law reflects the fascism that grows inside the Israeli community,” Tibi told Anadolu Agency in exclusive statements.
He accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of standing behind the controversial bill.
On Saturday, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the anti-adhaan bill before it goes to the Knesset, where it then must pass three rounds of voting before becoming law.
Tibi called on Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Israel to stage disobedience against the bill.
“Palestinians and Muslims around the world must work to thwart the Israeli decision to limit the call to prayer,” he said.
Netanyahu on Sunday claimed that the bill enjoyed a wide popular support, while Palestinians have roundly condemned the move as a blatant violation of Palestinians’ freedom to worship.
In a statement, 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. “The Palestinian leadership will go to the UN Security Council and to all international institutions to stop the escalating Israeli measures,” he said.
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.
Independent of Ahmad Tibi, another Knesset member, Teleb Abu Arar, also performed the call to prayer in the Knesset, much to the anger of his parliamentary colleagues.