Muzzling the Muezzin

No doubt the melodious call five times each day from the minaret of the mosque by the muezzin can be very annoying to non-Muslims in our cities, most especially when the first call to prayer is recited before sunrise when Israeli Jews and non-Muslims are still asleep.

No one likes to be awakened by the muezzin’s voice over loudspeakers.

The government is now proposing to ban the use of loudspeakers from the minarets. This, frankly, would be a violation of freedom of religion.

The muezzin is the most important person in the mosque and it his set obligation to call the faithful to prayer.

When a Muslim hears the call, he must immediately begin to recite the adhan, the muezzin’s call to prayer. It is a mandatory (fard) worship (salat) incumbent upon every Muslim.

The muezzin then recites the Takbir (God is great) followed by the Shahada, the statement of faith (Kalimah), which is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam (“There is no God but God and Mohammed is the messenger of God”).

That statement of faith is akin to the credo of Judaism, the Shema (“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One”).

After the muezzin’s call, the daily services are led by the imam in the mosque.

Judaism and Islam, therefore, are the only two real expressions of monotheistic religion. Christianity, while calling itself monotheism is in fact Trinitarian.

A Christian recites “I believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit”.

And while most Christians would adhere to the concept of monotheism, the Gospels of the New Testament clearly support the Trinitarian concept.

While Jews and Christians have no public call to prayer, Islam does and to muzzle the muezzin’s call to the Muslim faithful would be a violation of religious freedom.

We have enough, too many in fact, disputes between Jews and Muslims in Israel. Let our government not throw petrol on the already burning flames.

Suggest a lower volume loudspeaker, but do not attempt to muzzle the muezzin.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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