Controversy as Saudi Arabia asks mosques to limit loudspeaker volume

 The decision of the authorities of Saudi Arabia to restrict the volume of loudspeakers at mosques has sparked controversy.

Last week, Abdullatif al-Sheikh, the country’s Islamic affairs minister, directed that speakers in mosques should be limited to more than one-third of their maximum volume.

According to the minister, the directive was issued owing to complaints from the public that the noise from the speakers is disturbing to children and elderly persons.

The decision sparked mixed reactions in the country, as some were against the directive, while others supported it.

Those who were against the order demanded that the ban should be replicated in restaurants and cafes.

Amid the controversy, on Monday, al-Sheikh defended the decision, noting that those who want to pray should not wait for the Imam’s call.

He described those who are against the directive as “enemies of the kingdom”, who want to stir public opinion.

“Those who want to pray do not need to wait for … the imam’s” call to prayer,” al-Sheikh was quoted by Aljazeera.

“They should be at the mosque beforehand.”

This is not the first time Saudi Arabia will make an order to change age-long practices, especially those relating to Islamic doctrines.

In 2020, it announced the relaxation of certain laws to allow unmarried couples to cohabitate and on the use of alcohol.

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