Arab member raises ‘azan’ in Israeli parliament to protest against anti-azan bill

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LAHORE – An Arab parliament member raised ‘azan’ (call to prayer) in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in a bid to protest against a controversial bill which could bar mosques from using loudspeakers for delivering call to prayer (azan) in occupied East Jerusalem.

Ahmad Tibi, member of the Knesset, raised the azan during his speech in the parliament and said the proposed bill demonstrated the Israeli government’s ‘Islamophobia’.

Tibi was joined by another member Taleb Abu Arar who also started the azan and went on to complete it, despite attempts by the other members of the parliament to bar him from doing that.

The controversial bill that has got the backing of Israeli PM has opened up a new debate in the country with many Palestinians arguing that it would violate the religious freedom of the citizens.

On Saturday, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the anti-Adhan bill before it goes to the Knesset, where it then must pass three rounds of voting before becoming law.

Earlier, Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh warned that the bill would escalate conflict in the region.

“The Israeli actions are completely unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

“The Palestinian leadership will go to the UN Security Council and to all international institutions to stop the escalating Israeli measures.” he added.

Meanwhile, Palestinian group Hamas described the bill as “an outrageous provocation to the sentiments of Muslims everywhere and unacceptable interference in worship and religious practice.”

It is worth mentioning that Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site.

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