A mosque in the city of al-Ludd (Lod), located just south of Tel Aviv, was fined a penalty of $200 by the Israeli municipality for using loudspeakers to make the call to prayer on Monday, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz’s Hebrew site. Haaretz reported that the fine was imposed in accordance with an existing Israeli “pollution and nuisances law,” which restricts the volume at which mosques can use loudspeakers to call out the adhan — the Muslim call to prayer that is broadcast five times a day — during nighttime. The mosque’s imam, Muhammad al-Far, said it was the first time Israeli authorities had imposed such a penalty on al-Ludd’s mosque, and called it “a very dangerous step.”
On Monday, Turkey denounced as “unacceptable” and an “insult” a bill being discussed in the Knesset to limit the volume of calls to prayer at mosques. Israel and Turkey had earlier this year finally mended a years-long crisis in relations with the naming of ambassadors, but a considerable potential for tension remains. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that for centuries the Islamic call to prayer, church bells and Jewish prayers had mixed together in multi-faith Jerusalem.