S Arabia defends curb on Adhan volume

2 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Islamic affairs minister on Monday defended a contentious order restricting the volume of mosque loudspeakers, saying it was prompted by complaints in the conservative Muslim nation about excessive noise, reports AFP.

In a major policy last week in a country home to the holiest Muslim sites, the Islamic affairs ministry said the speakers should be set at no more than one-third of their maximum volume.

The order, which also limited the use of loudspeakers mainly to issue the call to prayer rather than broadcasting full sermons, triggered a conservative backlash on social media.

Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh said the order was in response to citizens’ complaints that the loud volume was causing disturbance to children as well as the elderly.

“Those who want to pray do not need to wait for... the imam’s” call to prayer, Sheikh said in a video published by state television.