Saudi Arabia has started a campaign to crack down on mosques whose call to prayer is too loud. According to the Saudi news agency SPA, ministry inspectors have removed some 100 loudspeakers from dozens of mosques in the city of al-Bahah in western Saudi Arabia because they were so loud they smothered out the broadcasts of other mosques.
The call to prayer is a central part of life for Muslims. There are five each day. But many mosques put the imams' sermons on the public sound system as well. The ministry says some mosques have speakers that can be heard as much as five kilometres away. The result is that mosques in close proximity drown out each others' broadcast to the point that they are unintelligible even inside the mosques. Government inspectors are to travel throughout the country to tackle the noise nuisance