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 Does NEMC Intend to Ban Public Adhaan (Public Prayer Call)?

News:

On Monday, 08/05/2023, the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) announced that it has closed 89 businesses for noisy pollution. The closed businesses include bars and entertainment centers which were found making noise exceeding acceptable levels.

Comment:

The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) came into being in 1983 to implement the resolutions of the Stockholm Conference (1972), which called upon all nations to establish and strengthen national environmental councils to advise governments and the international community on environmental issues. Regarding a noise pollution, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines above 65 decibels (dB) as pollution and it recommends to be kept below 65 dB during the day and indicates that restful sleep is impossible with nighttime ambient noise levels in excess of 30 dB.

Thus, NEMC mandates to undertake enforcement, compliance, review and monitoring of environmental activities according to secular guidelines and demands. From this perspective and since secular viewpoint does not care about religion, the noise at night club, bars and entertainment centers would be considered similar to call of prayer at the Mosque (Adhaan). So, NEMC’s measure to ban some bars and entertainment centers extended to houses of worship is very likely to reach at mosques with the aim of banning public Adhaan (prayer call).

Inspite of recent directives of the Union and Environment State Minister in the Vice President’s Office, Dr. Selemani Jaffo, that entertainment joints and houses of worship need to use noise meters and sound absorbers, it has to be very clear that a call for prayers (Adhaan) should not be compared with bars and entertainment centers noise, since it is obligatory apart of Islam worship, vital sanctity of Islam and sign of existence of Islamic community in particular place.

If NEMC really cares about the welfare of people, it could have banned all the bars and evil (munkar) entertainment places regardless of noise since they are spreading all sorts of evils in society. Banning a few bars for noisy pollution would neither save the community from disturbances nor stabilize social system. But in the wider picture apart from noise pollution, there are many immoralities being carried out inside these bars and entertainment centers such as fornication, homosexuality, drugs abuse, alcoholism, etc. of which all of them are dangerous to society.

While Western nations pushed developing nations on environmental actions agenda, we have witnessed a number of myth in tackling it, why some areas such as traffic noise, air traffic noise, construction sites, crowd noise in urban centers and etc. are not prioritized tackled and not than targeting house of worship? Furthermore, there is are double standards such that of the USA withdrawal from Kyoto Protocol agreement to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the presence of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere on the grounds that the mandate would hurt its economy. It is undoubtedly that since the agenda of tackling environmental problems is being pushed by colonialist nations based on the interest of the nations, and since regards Islam ideology as their number one enemy, they would use it as well as pretext to attack Islam by attacking its sanctity of Adhaan.

While we do not support the noise pollution from bars, evil entertainment centers and etc., we strongly disagree upon any move which will victimize mosques and Muslims by banning public Adhaan, such exercise will face strong opposition from the Muslim community since it is in contrary with Islam.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Said Bitomwa
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Tanzania

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