Outrage Over Muslim Prayer Ban

I honestly don’t know what to do with myself on this one. Posting my outrage seems pitifully inadequate. Playing the “songs” of Muslim call to prayer soothes my soul. But I doubt it can affect real change. 

I am beyond enraged… and here’s why…

Last week I read one newsfeed somewhere about the state of Israel proposing a ban on public call-to-prayer by Muslims. 

So to those who have never heard the call to prayer after sunset over Old City Jerusalem (Maghrib), that statement is just so many words about one of today’s myriad political clashes. But to those of us who have listened… To those of us whose hearts were amended by those haunting calls over the Old City… To those of us whose souls were mended by those entreaties to prayer… I cannot cry the tears of my eyes. I cannot scream with the outrage of my heart. I cannot mourn with the sadness that pierces my soul. This is TOO MUCH!

Here is what I wrote about 2013 when I heard the call to prayer over Jerusalem just after sunset:

Muslim Call to Prayer

The most treasured memories are always the most challenging to describe and to share. Words fall short and fail. Yet, I try. I must try.

It happened five times each day—the Muslim call to prayer reverberated across Old City Jerusalem. Without question, the most inspiring and haunting calling came just after sunset. Maghrib, it’s called in the Muslim liturgy.

I learned that first evening in Jerusalem and then made it a deliberate effort to return to the roof of Citadel Youth Hostel at sunset each evening.

On some unknown cue, one voice would erupt into the evening air. Within a few seconds, another voice would join. Then another. Soon a cacophony of a half-dozen loud voices were calling out from all directions in the city. 

“Allah hu Akbar” (Allah is Great) The prayers would continue, overlapping and blending the sounds of the summoning of believers to evening prayer. In seventy-two years, no sound has pierced so deeply into my soul. Words I did not know in a religion not my own, nothing has ever reached my hearing with the impact and forever memory of the Muslim calls to prayer over the city of Jerusalem just after sunset.

I made a video from the Citadel rooftop. I panned the dimming horizon of the city as these voices peeled into the air. Today, I HAVE LOST THE VIDEO. I cannot find it. If I could, I would include a video link in my book about Palestine.

Instead, I suggest this link. Google: Muslim call to prayer over Jerusalem after sunset. Choose the recording by Stasio Rusek recorded this evening call to prayer in 2015. This is similar to what I heard each evening in 2013.

And that is what I heard. That is the music that Israel wants to erase from Jerusalem!

Published by Ric d. Stark

New to a post-retirement commitment to literary non-fiction, Ric d. Stark will focus memories on gay life, Hawaiʻi life and Hawaiian quilting.

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