JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s parliament has passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers.
Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles.
Devout Muslims pray five times a day, starting around 5 a.m. In Israel, the call to prayer is often loud enough to wake up residents in Jewish neighborhoods near Muslim communities.
Supporters of the bill say it as a matter of quality of life. But Arab citizens of Israel see it as an affront.
Arabs make up one-fifth of the population; they enjoy full rights but face discrimination in some areas. Many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians.