Thursday, November 3, 2011
Bali says Hi!
This was our 6th visit to Bali, and it was wonderful--apart from the nearly empty mosque nearby blaring out its harangues at astonishing volumes from before dawn to late at night. The Balinese Muslims who've been there for a while have been as friendly as the Hindu majority. But the outsiders from Java buying up land, building mosques, then using them to dominate the acoustic landscape at all hours are something else.
And they're typical of Islamic authorities in my experience traveling abroad. It was especially interesting because while there are increasing numbers of Javanese Muslims streaming into Bali in hopes of cashing in on Bali's tourist trade, the local mosque really was an empty shell with giant loudspeakers.
I don't think American mosques are hotbeds of terrorism. Most Muslims who immigrate to America are better educated and we assimilate them more than the Europeans do. But I know all of them would mount the giant loudspeakers given half a chance--a practice not mentioned in the Koran BTW.
That's what we need--strict enforcement of noise ordinances. I'd feel the same way about church bells if they started before dawn and were amplified like the mosques' harangues are. But they don't and they aren't.
So when mosques come up, be sure to raise the noise issue. Anyone who's traveled in Muslim lands will know what I mean.