World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's top cleric Monday criticized an Israeli proposal to restrict the Muslim call to prayer from being made through loudspeakers.
Meeting with Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey Faed Mustafa in the capital Ankara, Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, said: "If you ban muezzins [from making] the call to prayer, every Palestinian would be a muezzin and make the call."
He added, “We would be [similarly] upset if the call was stopped in Istanbul.”
Saying that more than 80 mosques in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed by Israeli attacks, Gormez stated that nine of them have been reconstructed by benefactors, adding, "I am thankful to them."
Mustafa said regardless of the bill they would work for peace, adding, "We will do our best to establish a free and independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital."
On Sunday, the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a revised version of a bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer being made through loudspeakers from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
An earlier draft of the bill was met with opposition from ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers over concerns about how it might also affect their religious practices.
Palestinians have criticized the measure, claiming it would violate Muslims’ freedom of religion.