I have to concede in reference to Bibi’s support of mineret-muzzling that indeed, even a broken clock shows the correct time once a day. However, what bothers me is how he argued his case: “We don’t need to be more liberal than Europe”. Does he not realize that this remark gives him away as implicitly admitting that Europe is the light unto the nations, or at least the model of civility that we all should strive to emulate? As I read his words, I thought to myself: Aha! So you do admire Europe! And you admit that liberal is a positive thing to be! Gotcha!
However, although I agree that the Moslem calls to prayer constitute noise pollution, it’s still offensive and certain unnecessary to target them specifically. We have noise pollution ordinances; why not simply enforce them in all locales? That would take care of the ultra-Orthodox and their bullhorn-fitted vans that cruise the streets for hours (apparently it's OK to pollute in God's name) blaring their appeals to dress modestly, attend a study session, or light candles. If I had the misfortune to live within hearing distance of this noise, I’d applaud any and all measures to silence it, including that inspired by the scene in the film Hair wherein George fires a rifle to silence the loudspeakers at the military base parade ground.
Same goes for Shabbat sirens, which I find paternalistic and therefore offensive. Anyone who observes the Sabbath can consult their watches, calendars, newspapers, or multiple fridge magnets for Sabbath starting and ending times, and if those fail, go outside and look at the sun, for God’s sake.
More than one talkbacker to the article proposed that Muslims install an app in their phones (or subscribe to a service) that sets off a prayer reminder replicating the muezzin, so we could do without the public calls to prayer altogether. Good idea, and let’s take it a step further: The Religious Affairs Ministry should provide this service for free, should it not? As long as this rabbi-opoly has to exist, let it serve the public for a refreshing change, and not vice versa.