Indonesia Mosques Banned Loudspeakers






The Indonesian government is planning to ban mosques from using loudspeakers to broadcast religious sermons, following complaints of noise by residents living near worship places.

“We’re discussing the technical detail and the concept,” Jusuf Kalla, head of the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI), was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, May 29.

The umbrella body said discussions are underway to ban mosques from using loudspeakers for religious sermons and Qur’an recitation.
“If it is for Adhan, it’s alright as everywhere in the world the mosques use speaker for Adhan,” said Jusuf, a former vice-president of Indonesia.

“Adhan is a call for people [to pray] and the duration is only three minutes.”

There are nearly 80,000 mosques in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.

Indonesian mosques often use loudspeakers to raise Adhan as well as broadcasting Qur’an recitation and religious sermons.

The use of loudspeakers becomes further extensive in the holy fasting month of Ramadan, when Muslims dedicate their time to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

But the high sound carried by the speakers has triggered complaints from many residents, especially those living near mosques.

In February, an Indonesian man won a lawsuit against a local mosque in Banda Aceh over noisy speakers.

However, the man was forced to withdraw his lawsuit after threats from radicals.


Officials admit that the use of loudspeakers by mosques have become a disturbance for many residents, including Muslims.

“We must not force something that we believe is good on others who may see it as a disturbance,” said Masdar Masudi, deputy head of the Council of Mosques.

“Even Muslims, such as those who are ill or have insomnia, will definitely get annoyed at the noise.”

He said that mosques can only use loudspeakers within their premises for sermons.

“If people come to the mosque it means they need to hear the sermon, but it’s not clear whether anonymous people outside the mosque need to hear it or not,” he said.

“People outside might not agree with the fiery preaching.”

Masdar also argued that the use of amplifications in broadcasting sermons would reveal the “secret of Islam.”

“If it’s being heard outside, it would strip us naked. People will know all the good and bad information about us.”

Mosque loudspeakers have sparked debates in a number of Muslim countries over the noise caused by the amplifications, particularly during Ramadan.

Last year, Saudi authorities banned small mosques from using loudspeakers to call for prayers during the fasting month.


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