Jakarta scolds mosques over noisy muezzin and loud speakers

The circular drawn up following the strong controversy stirred up in the country by the latest case of "blasphemy". Last week, the Medan court sentenced a woman who had complained about the volume of the call to prayer in the prison.


Jakarta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The muezzin of the Indonesian mosques "must be in tune". It is one of the provisions contained in a circular of the Ministry for Religious Affairs on azan (the Islamic call to prayer). The note contains guidelines on when and how it should be disseminated. From the title "The use of loudspeakers in mosques, langgars and musholla (Islamic prayer houses)", the document was drawn up following the strong controversy stirred up in the country by the last case of "blasphemy".

On 21 August, the Medan District Court (North Sumatera Province) sentenced a Buddhist lady of Chinese descent to 18 months in prison for "offenses against Islam": in 2016 she had complained about the volume of the voice of the muezzin of a nearby mosque. Civil society and moderate Islamic organizations such as Nahdlatul Ulama (Nu) and Muhammadiyah opposed the ruling, asking the government for a revision of the controversial legislation on "religious defamation".

The provisions on azan, issued by the Ministry three days ago, are divided into six points:

 

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