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April 10, 2014 10:24 am

Nazareth Mayor Asks Local Mosques to Turn Down Volume

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St. Gabriel's Greek Orthodox Church in Nazareth, Israel. Photo: Berthold Werner. Nazareth Illit Mayor Alex Gedelkin (Yisrael Beiteinu) filed a request with the heads of surrounding Arab villages, asking them to lower the volume of the Muslim call to prayer from local mosques during the annual Israeli Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) commemorations in early May.

Gedelkin also wrote to Deputy Interior Minister MK Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu), asking her to assist his request with local Arab towns, including Kafr Kanna, Mashhad, Reineh, and Ein Mahil, Israel Hayom reported.

In the letter, Gedelkin explained how every year Memorial Day ceremonies are interrupted as muezzins from surrounding towns make the call to prayer. He said the call occurs precisely as Israel enters a state of mourning and locals take a moment from their daily routines to join in the memory of Israel’s fallen soldiers, including non-Jews who served in the defense establishment.

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Gedelkin emphasized that he understood the call to prayer was not meant to interrupt the ceremony, and that the times year-round are predetermined.

“Still, in light of the day’s sanctity, I am asking for them to lower the volume of their loudspeakers during the muezzin call to prayer, so it will not reach those participating in memorial services for IDF soldiers,” he wrote.

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