Main opposition leader criticizes Israel’s vote on Muslim prayer ban
AA photoThe Muslim call to prayer cannot be banned, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, criticizing Israel for the initial approval of a draft law that will silence the Muslim call to prayer at certain hours.
“We are expecting a serious reaction to this. The call to prayer cannot be banned,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an address to businesspeople in Ankara on March 10.
“If you forbid the call to prayer at certain hours in Israel, you will raise serious concerns in Turkish society about your respects for beliefs. Such concerns should be avoided,” he said.
His comments came after Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, initially approved a draft law on March 8 to ban the call to prayer from loudspeakers from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. in Israel and East Jerusalem.
Stating that the draft would be enacted after a final vote, Kılıçdaroğlu called out Israeli politicians to act on their common sense.
“We respect the practice of every religion in our country,” he said, emphasizing the importance of the call to prayer for the Muslim world.
“There is not a single moment that the prayer is not called out in the world due to the difference of time in the sunset,” he said, quoting from poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy.
“It is that important for the Muslim world,” he added.
As the Knesset’s vote stirred a debate, right-wing parties in Israel defended the bill, arguing it would improve the living standards of the people living near the mosques while the opposition said it would violate the religious freedom of Israel’s Muslim minority.