RELIGION

Israel considers bill forcing mosques to lower volume

FILE -- In this Nov. 16, 2016 file photo, the minaret of a mosque is seen in Lod, a mixed Jewish Muslim and Christian city in central Israel. On wedneday, March 8, 2017, Israel's parliament passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers. Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

FILE -- In this Nov. 16, 2016 file photo, the minaret of a mosque is seen in Lod, a mixed Jewish Muslim and Christian city in central Israel. On wedneday, March 8, 2017, Israel's parliament passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers. Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)  (The Associated Press)

Israel's parliament has passed an initial reading of a bill that would make mosques lower the volume of their call to prayer, amid protests by Arab lawmakers.

Arab-Israeli politician Ahmed Tibi tore up the proposal at the Knesset podium Wednesday. The bill still needs to pass several more hurdles.

Devout Muslims pray five times a day, starting around 5 a.m. In Israel, the call to prayer is often loud enough to wake up residents in Jewish neighborhoods near Muslim communities.

Supporters of the bill say it as a matter of quality of life. But Arab citizens of Israel see it as an affront.

Arabs make up one-fifth of the population; they enjoy full rights but face discrimination in some areas. Many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians.