The mosques and churches are the loudest, the nerves of the citizens are the thinnest, and the authorities only warn

The mosque in Nerezi/Photo: Jovica Tasevski Eternian

The poet Jovica Tasevski reacted these days that the calls from the minaret of the mosque in Dolno Nerezi are unbearably loud and demands that the Municipality of Karpoš issue a solution to remove the loudspeakers, and the local government announced that they will hire a company that will measure the noise

Unbearable noise from the mosque in Dolno Nerezi disturbs the residents in this Skopje settlement and in the wider area, so they demand that the authorities in the Municipality of Karpoš take appropriate measures to dismantle the loudspeakers from the minaret.

The poet, literary critic and essayist Jovica Tasevski these days he addressed the public about this problem in his neighborhood, which brought up again the eternal topic for which the authorities have not had a solution for decades - the loud noises coming from the religious buildings and disturbing the citizens both day and night.

And in other parts of Skopje, residents are constantly disturbed by the sounds of mosques and churches, which are hundreds in number and are built in dense urban areas. The bells of many churches are rung every hour, and during major Christian holidays liturgies and church music are played on loudspeakers and heard in a wider area.

The mosques, on the other hand, have loudspeakers installed on the minarets, on which the calls to the eyes are played very loudly even before dawn, and often the prayers are played out of sync, so a mixture of sounds is created that echoes throughout the entire Skopje valley.

Skopje people often comment on social networks that they respect all religions, but they also demand that religious buildings respect them, their sleep, peace and health and be quieter, within the limits of decency and the law.

Karpos will measure the volume of the mosque in Nerezi

In the letter sent to the media, the poet Tasevski writes that the sound devices installed at the mosque, which was built in 2005 in Dolno Nerezi, cause discomfort and disturbance.

– The mosque with a minaret in the Dolno Nerezi neighborhood, as an object in which sound devices are used, is subject to the provisions of the Law on Protection against Noise and, like all other legal and natural persons, it must respect them. Against this, the sound devices of this facility are active several times a day with maximum intensity and create noise in the environment that causes discomfort and disturbance to the residents of Dolno Nerezi and beyond, in the neighborhoods of Taftalidze 2 and Karposh 4. The installation and daily use of the speakers with high power that exceeds the allowed intensity is contrary to the previously signed statement of the chairman of the board for the construction of the mosque, certified by a notary that loudspeakers will not be placed in the building, when in 2005 it was an illegal building and at a session of the Council of the Municipality of Karposh the detailed urban plan with which the mosque is legalized had to be approved - writes Tasevski.

He requests that the Municipality of Karpoš issue a decision to dismantle the loudspeakers as a source of noise. The local self-government replied that the communal inspector had informed the Islamic religious community and that the problem would be solved.

From Municipality of Karpos for "Sloboden Pechat" they say that they will measure the noise from the mosque.

- The authorized inspector for the environment talked several times with the responsible persons of the mosque and sent a letter to IVZ on 30.8.2021. Unfortunately, we have not received any response from them so far. After a report from a citizen on May 26.5.2023, XNUMX, the Municipality of Karposh will hire an authorized licensed company and issue an order to measure the environmental noise level. After the measurement, he will act according to the results - say the Municipality of Karposh.

Efendi Ismaili: The mosque in Nerezi has a minimum volume

The mufti of Skopje, Effendi Qenan Ismaili, says that so far not a single complaint about noise from the mosques has reached the mufti, and they, as the mufti, specifically asked the mosque in Dolno Nerezi to play the calls to prayer at a minimum volume, because there were complaints in previous years as well. from the citizens sent to the Municipality of Karposh, so at the meetings with the previous mayor it was agreed that the loudspeakers should be played as quietly as possible.

- We also agreed that the first call to prayer early in the morning should not be taught in that mosque. According to our religion, it should be taught, called, but we decided not to play it on the loudspeakers so as not to disturb the residents. The calls for worship during the rest of the day should be played at a minimum volume - says Effendi Ismaili for "Sloboden Pechat".

Regarding the fact that several mosques play the calls on loudspeakers early in the morning, creating a cacophony of mixed sounds, Effendi Ismaili says that the volume of the calls is determined by an agreement between the believers and the boards of the mosques.

– All mosques have the same opening time. Each mosque has a board and they agree with the believers, for example there are mosques where the believers live further away and do not hear the calls, so they play louder there, and there are mosques that are close to each other and they play more quietly, so that the sounds do not mix. For example, the mosque in Chair is located between residential buildings, so the sounds are reflected from the buildings and an echo is created if it is too loud, so that mosque plays the calls quietly - says Effendi Ismaili.

There are 155 mosques in the Skopje mufti.

Sotirovski: Society must mature

From The Commission for Relations with Religious Communities and Religious Groups say that although they are not responsible for this problem, they still receive complaints from citizens about excessive noise from religious buildings, so they direct them to either report to the police for disturbing public order and peace if the noise is during illegal hours or to complain to the municipality on whose territory the religious building is located, so that the municipal inspectors act in accordance with the legal powers.

The Director of the Commission Darijan Sotirovski for "Free Pelat" it says that the freedom to manifest one's faith and the practice of ritual traditions are civil liberties and rights, which, although inviolable and guaranteed, must not be used contrary to the rights and freedoms of others.

- In the past, calls to prayer were made by a human religious official, and today by sophisticated public address devices. From there, the essence is in the call to prayer made or the prayer shared, not in its volume. The believer a century ago was no less than today who lives in an era of high technology. It is necessary to strengthen the awareness among the mosque boards that there is growing resentment among the population, both Christian and Muslim, and the rest, and that is not good, nor does ignoring it benefit anyone - says Sotirovski.

Darijan Sotirovski

The municipalities and the police, he adds, show tolerance and understanding and most of the time use their powers to warn, not to punish.

– This speaks of the careful attitude of the institutions towards the feelings of the citizens, but the society must mature. In the previous discussions on this issue, the IOC has taken a constructive position, the same should be reflected in the work of the mosque boards under the muftis in the country - says Sotirovski.

You die from loud noise

Noise is a pollutant of the environment and is dangerous to human health, so day, evening, night and total levels are prescribed that must not be exceeded.

In an area of ​​the first degree, the day and evening level must not exceed 50 decibels, and the night level 40, and in an area of ​​the second degree, the day and evening level must not exceed 55 decibels, and the night level 45. The day is from 7 a.m. to 19 p.m., in the evening is from 19 to 23, and the night is from 23 to 7.

The time for midday rest is from 15:18 to 200:1.000 and during this period the limit values ​​apply the same as for the night. The peace of citizens is considered disturbed if the sounds from any source exceed these values, and the police can punish the source with a hefty fine of XNUMX to XNUMX euros.

- The main causes of noise in the environment are vehicles in road, rail and air traffic and industrial installations. Particularly significant and specific for Macedonia is the noise from construction activities, the neighborhood and the noise caused by other independent sound equipment, such as the noise from religious buildings - it is stated in the Environmental Report for 2021 prepared by the Ministry of Environment.

The document states that noise has many direct and indirect negative effects on human health, and can lead to premature death.

- Based on studies done by the Institute of Public Health, sleep disturbance, anxiety, hearing damage, cardiovascular problems and impact on the psychophysical condition occur most often as a result of an increased level of noise. Most of the population has a feeling of discomfort that includes anxiety and sleep disturbance. A smaller number of the population exposed to an increased level of noise has stress reactions, and as a result, different health risk factors such as increased blood pressure, cholesterol and others can be expected. In a relatively small part of the population, these changes can cause other clinical symptoms such as insomnia and cardiovascular diseases, which then, as a consequence, can lead to an increase in premature mortality rates - the Report says.

For noise protection, the Ministry and municipalities have a legal obligation to make strategic noise maps, but they have not yet been made for agglomerations, main roads, airports, settlements and areas of special interest, so the institutions do not have the opportunity to show the estimated number of apartments, schools, hospitals and residents exposed to different noise levels.

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