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Bahrain renews ban on mosque loudspeakers

Religious authority calls on Muezzins to respect the ban

Bahrain renewed a ban on the use of exterior loudspeakers in Mosques during prayers, ending a year-long contentious debate on the religiously sensitive issue in the Kingdom.

The decision was made by the Bahraini Sunni Endowment Department (Awqaf) of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs , which said that the blaring loudspeakers in mosques should not be used for anything other than the traditional Muslim call to prayer.

The religious authorities used SMS text messaging to instruct all callers to prayer, known as Muezzins, to respect the ban, but said the move is merely a regulatory one and an offense is only made if a complaint received.

“Prayers are between a person and Allah, and there is no need to make one's prayers heard by people walking in the streets and in markets,” said Mohammed Ali al-Sitri , the King's Advisor for Legislative Authority Affairs.

Former Member of Parliament Hamad al-Mahindi opposed the ban saying, “There should be a manifestation of God’s rituals during the holy month of Ramadan.”

“There are people that want to hear the prayers through the loudspeaker,” al-Mahindi added.

Prayers are between a person and Allah, and there is no need to make one's prayers heard by people walking in the streets in markets

Mohammed Ali al-Sitri