Palestinians have defied an Israeli bill which seeks to impose limits on the Muslim call to prayer in Israel and in occupied East Jerusalem, by constructing the tallest minaret in the occupied territory.
Within a week of the contested “Muezzin bill”, being passed by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya inaugurated what was described as the highest minaret in Jerusalem.
The structure, which is thought to be 73 meters high, costing approximately $28,000 to construct, “sent a clear message to Israel”, stated Muhammad Abu Al-Hummus, a member Issawiyya’s committee overseeing the project.
“Minarets won’t be silenced and the athan (Muslim call to prayer) will continue to ring out in Palestinian villages and cities,” said Abu al-Hummus.
Abu Al-Hummus mentioned that the mosque’s old minaret was built 47 years ago, and that due to increasing construction in the neighbourhood, the sound of call to prayer coming from the minaret had been weakened over time.
Palestinians have denounced the proposed Muezzin bill as “racist” and a violation of religious freedom, and an attack on Muslims right to worship.