28 October, 2020

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Noise Pollution: An Open Letter To Bhikkus, Fathers, Priests And Moulavis

By Mohamed Faizal

Mohamed Faizal

Mohamed Faizal

Dear Sirs,

I am writing this open letter to you, seeking a religious verdict, on an important issue that has grave ramification for a lot of the people – use of loud speakers in religious premises.

I think you have a responsibility, to publicly state your respective religion’s positions on this matter. I have a feeling that you may be acting against your religion’s injunction, when you use loudspeakers.

First of all, issuing a religious verdict on an issue is to pass judgment on that issue, using the religious text. So I believe it is paramount that we, first, fully understand, the true nature of the issue, I am seeking a verdict on.

The reality of the use of loudspeakers, in the manner it is used, in your premises is that: it is an assault; it is torture; it is maiming. So the explicit question is: are assault, torture and maiming sanctioned by your religion?

A lot of the people experience, a sudden loud burst of noise as an assault. When they are constantly exposed to it, they experience it as torture. (It is well known, that the Americans use loud music, as a form of torture on their prisoners of war, incarcerated in their notorious Guantanamo prison.)

According to Dr. Sumathipala, a senior lecturer in physics, “If your sleep is disturbed by noise, you could suffer mental stress, and turn aggressive. Loud noise indirectly causes stress. Children living in noisy neighbourhoods could develop hearing problems, later in life.”

According to Dr. Chandra Jayasuriya, consultant ENT surgeon, National Hospital, Colombo, “the human ear has a greater tendency to get damaged when exposed to sound, with intensity more than 80-90 Decibels (dB). Even a very quick exposure of three seconds, to loud sound, could cause a severe damage to the cochlea of the human ear.”

The level of noise generated by a hair-dryer is about 90 dB. That should give you an idea, of how grave the true nature, of the level of noise generated by loudspeakers, in all your premises is. Also, the duration of loud noise generated there, lasts for a lot longer than the 03 seconds, the maximum duration of exposure needed, to cause permanent hearing loss. In fact, the loudspeakers continue to wail, at times, for even longer than 03 hours.

According to Islam, one cannot be a true Muslim, unless his neighbours are safe from his tongue and hands. Islam equates removing from the path, something that is harmful to the public, to a portion of belief. Prophet Muhammad (saw) ordered his beloved companion Omar (rali) to lower his voice, when he recited verses from the Quran, in congregational prayer. (He wasn’t using loud speakers.)  I am sure similar values are espoused, by other religions too.

Now, how is it possible, for religious authorities to use loudspeakers, without contravening the values of their own religions? How is it then possible, for you to claim religious leadership?

Again, are assault, torture and maiming, sanctioned by your religion?

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    Dear Mohamed Faizal,

    RE: Noise Pollution: An Open Letter To Bhikkus, Fathers, Priests And Moulavis.

    “I am writing this open letter to you, seeking a religious verdict, on an important issue that has grave ramification for a lot of the people – use of loud speakers in religious premises.”

    “I think you have a responsibility, to publicly state your respective religion’s positions on this matter. I have a feeling that you may be acting against your religion’s injunction, when you use loudspeakers.”

    Thank you very much for bringing this noise pollution to promote myths to the forefront.

    Why are they promoting their MYTHS using Loudspeakers? Did they use Loud Speakers 1000 or 2500 years ago? No.

    Why? Because they have NO SUPPORT for their MYTHS and therefore Making a lot of NOISE. For Whose Benefit?

    1. Monks
    2. Mullahs, Moulavis
    3. Priests

    so that they they can maintain their importance and hegemony over the people.

    Has anybody reported back from rebirth, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, limbo and other locations where the Soul or No-Soul (Anatta) supposed to have ended up? NO.

    Read, Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, published 1795 and Cosmos by Carl Sagan, published 1980.

    • 0
      0

      Pollution: Noise and Myth:

      Noise Pollution: An Open Letter To Bhikkus, Fathers, Priests And Moulavis

      Noise Pollution due to Religious Myth Pollution by Bhikkus, Fathers, Priests And Moulavis.

  • 4
    0

    Ear plugs made of soaked moulded & dried waste paper should be made freely available to those living in the vicinity of noisy religious establishments, until the noise makers respond for the welfare citizens.
    I used them when living along the venue of daily religious processions when loudspeakers blared continuously day and night,in Colombo,during the annual event,for one whole week of torture.

  • 5
    0

    “The reality of the use of loudspeakers, in the manner it is used, in your premises is that: it is an assault; it is torture; it is maiming. So the explicit question is: are assault, torture and maiming sanctioned by your religion?”

    I am with the writer on this. Even if your religion sanctions it, everyone has a right for a peaceful environment. I could not believe the hoohaa about prayer calls from the Mosques, which generally happens in the ‘decent’ time, from the Buddhist monks, who blares their loudspeakers overnight pirith chanting. Then, I could believe it, after all, these are not real monks.

  • 5
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    I am againt the death by loud speaker too .

    • 3
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      How come this possible whatever your Rajas sees right, were your choice sofar. Recalling the sound exposure in public transport, bazaar were beyong all bearing of decible during my last visit to the country- 1.5 years ago, but people had no right to go against. Pvt bus driver was forced to lessen hardly respecting my wish passed to the conductor. This happened I tried once the transport by common busservice in the country. Might have become the right of the rodia´s governance. That is what instantly came my mind. Bazaar Kiribathgoda, Kadawatha, Pettah were beyond all acceptable levels of sound exposure, if that ws the case in Europe, those shop owners would have been fined with huge sums not allowing them to repeat such acts. Anyway, what can we expect in a country where social scum have become the might.

      • 0
        3

        why bother to visit . just stay in Europe . While I agree with the author I also know this is part of what we do . and I love my country . I love every second I get to spend there . and yes you are right it is a noisy place and it sure isnt europe or the US .

        • 2
          0

          You seem tob e falling in love with Raja oligarchs not with nation or country. This kind of intoxication of minds are seen at least 30% of a population. They do so sometimes for unexplainable reasons. That has nothing to do with obtained education, but the state of mind.

          Your nature is identified with many across the nation today, since they cant see beyond (best example: election results of the day) Just having a director kind of a post in rural US is nothing but for your own survival, and to seeing things right (unbiased) have somehow gone wrong these days – alone looking at the manner GLP (unlike you, a great scholor to entire world) to have intepreted UNHRC´s final decision towards the country calling a ” actually we won” gives many the like us feeling the REAL nature of the nation.
          Truth will succeed in oneday near future is what I believe/hope

        • 2
          0

          I know that Rajapakshe oligarchs would do anything and everything to turn it against our democratic rights. So you grab my own right to asking me ” why bother visiting the country”. So long my lovely ones and my wish are there, I have every right to go and see them. We the ones who fat the pockets of Rajapakshes following tsunami disaster, have been doing what we can to the nation though being out of the country; doing lot more to the homes for aged/children than giving alms to BUDDHIST MONKS.

          In an era postdocs are making every efforts in finding more about harm of radiation created by mobile phones/gadgets, physists have long proved unbearable sound exposure could lead eardrums broken in many.

  • 9
    1

    I pray – silently of course – that people see the sense of what this man says and act on it. It is even worth forming a political party against this curse.

  • 4
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    It’s about time that the law on noise-pollution is implemented without discrimination and all places of religious worship respect the law and have consideration for those who are “tortured” by the incessant blaring of ‘noise’. To make matters worse, even schools are broadcasting their religious nonsense for all the neighbors to suffer from.

  • 6
    0

    I use to get up to the sound of Mosque prayer near our neighbourhood when I was small. I remember we use to make unkind remarks amongst ourselves but no one thought of complaining. it was taken for granted as part of life. I agree though with SL becoming more populated this must be a real nuisance to live near a Mosque or a temple. all loud speakers should be banned.

    • 2
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      yes I agree. I used to live near an Buddhist temple, and the sound of loudspeakers auctioning Malvatti on Poya days was unbelievable.
      This was not the Buddhism I had been taught by Ven Naradha Thero.

      • 2
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        I really dont think Buddha has ever added supportive views anywhere in litriture the way today´s sanga are upto in spreading Darma.If they use loudspeakers unncessarily should be banned by authorities. Some recites are not far from modern day pop songs sung by street entertainers. There are even ones among them earn lacks of monies through CD sales as singers would usually do. These are plainly abusive tactics of the few though in sanga costumes. Besides,the melody of those gathas have been shaped up in accordance with their own styles. I once asked myself, why some monks to recite them totally unique to them, is that because not having set of conducts for them ? The best example is that SIRIDAMMA thero, whose unconventional celebrities were lately subjected to all criticisms on CT and other platforms. All these repeat in lanken society today, as if no codes of conduct are avaialbe to follow. Be them islam, buddhist or any other related should be made very clear that they cant escape from the law prevailing in th eocuntry.
        The question in today´s context is whether there exist a law in the country today.

    • 3
      0

      today the society is made taken for granted by thugs. That is it. U cant compare it with the prayers sound of the mosques – today whereever you go, sound exposure is beyond all unbearable levels since there is no rule of law in the country.
      You guys have no comparison so you would not notice too. They would rape you,kill you, abduct you nothing is taken by people. This time even they won the votes of the stupid folks. This country is unique wonder.. nothing worst can reach to us

  • 5
    1

    Loud-speakers should be used only for emergencies and banned for all other purposes.

    • 1
      1

      Should the banning apply on all Disco Bars as well?

    • 2
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      Ms. Serasinghe,
      is it not time for you to get back with a highly articulate piece in order to send the message through.
      Our folks have become chicken to this day. No nothign seem to work on ” rule of law”. Everyone takes the law to their own hand. So is the laws related to Sound exposure too. Rajas go on with their offspring´s desire breaking all eardrums of colombo urbanites through his night car races.
      Yours is in demand, please write more in the purpose of making of the gaping nation further. There they will have to agree with “facts”.

  • 2
    0

    In today’s context, God is deaf after constant exposure to loud speakers, one trying to out beat the other. That is why so much villainy is committed by humans who claim to be pious citizens. These Religious are a curse to the Peaceful citizens.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lanka is one of the most noice pollutions in the world.

    Mosque prayers, Buddhist temple Bells, constant perehars and other possessions and funeral bands, noice from horns makes one go crazy.

    Also loud noice from DJ’s in hotels and beaches travel very far.

    Government should make it compulsary that there should be no Loud speakers or Prossessions or any other noice from 9.00 PM till 6.00 AM on Week days.

    This is serious.

    • 0
      1

      Lasantha, don’t you hear the Church bells? Or are they OK by you?

  • 1
    2

    I have sent a copy of this complaint to the ACJU, which is the organisation of Islamic scholars issuing fatwa / religious verdict on new issues that affects people.I hope they would issue a fatwa on this soon. I don’t see how a fatwa justifying assault, torture and maiming can be issued. When such a fatwa is issued it would make it harder for local masajids to act in contravention of the fatwa.

    I suggest that muslims readers of this post complain / seek fatwa on this grave issue. Here are contact details.

    211,Orabi Pasha Street,
    Colombo-10.
    Sri Lanka
    mail@acju.net
    fatwa@acju.net
    Office: (+94)11-5373148
    http://www.acju.lk

    Likewise, i hope followers of other religions would write to their respective religious authorities.

    • 3
      1

      The Azan (Call for Salaah) is around 2 minutes. People who oppose are those who harbour cussedness and envy. The Sri Lankans used to be people of tolerance and with the advent of radical bhikkus the people are becoming more intolerant. We have started to notice this animosity.

      The loud speaker is used to draw the attention of people who live far away from the masjid.

      Sri Lanka should worry more about the environmental pollution than the noise and specially the noisy transport system.

      • 1
        2

        @Maghribi,
        I’ve seen you often saying that you’re an egalitarian. You know that Sallah is very irritating for most non-Muslims. So, why knowingly annoy non-Muslims even for two minutes with your howling five times a day for 365 days a year when you can call fellow Muslims for Salaah through radio, sms and etc.

        Without accusing ‘Bhikkus’ as radicals, please tell us how do Muslims call for Salaah in Singapore and other countries where they do not allow this wretched practice. I say, you guys do this deliberately in Sri Lanka to show your presence to non-Muslims in the vicinity and instil fear psychosis on them and drive them out of that area.

        • 1
          0

          mechanic

          Your accurate description of the typical mentality of the very people we think would destroy your economy. History will record and show the future generations how narrow minded people destroyed the way of of life they were trying to preserve. Your loss is someone else’s gain.

      • 0
        0

        @Maghribi – Your comments lack even basic intelligence! First you comment on “Disco Bars” – these establishments don’t disturb the neighborhoods with noise. Next you talk about “environmental pollution” not recognizing that noise pollution is very much part of the environmental pollution you talk about.

        Stop displaying your ignorance – or is it stupidity?

    • 3
      0

      Mohamed Faizal

      “I have sent a copy of this complaint to the ACJU, which is the organisation of Islamic scholars issuing fatwa / religious verdict on new issues that affects people.I hope they would issue a fatwa on this soon. “

      Very good. Excellent.

      Send one to the Cardinal and Pope, and the Mahanayakas as well.

      Ask them to issue a Fatwa and Verdict, and ask them to order the Sun to go around the Earth, as well, as the Sun has become naughty, and is making the Earth to go around the Sun, and worst yet, making the Earth spin on its own axis.

  • 3
    0

    Cannot agree with the writer more. Loudspeakers are an intrusion into the space of people who are not interested in what is being blared. It is a violation of one’s right to peace and quiet. The greatest irony is all religions emphasize silence as the essential first step in spiritual practice. This once again shows religion as spiritual pursuit and as social practice are two entirely different things.

  • 2
    0

    Not only loudspeakers!
    I am almost completely deaf owing to the unauthorised use of machine powered tools by a wellknown “antiques” hawking shop in our residential street. The shop started by selling “antiques” but then took to making (!) them in the backyard of the shop’s premises. The yard faced our house on the opposite side of the street and the rauc(sic)ous & high-pitched noises invaded our home & meda midula from morning till late evening almost every day. Electric saws, drills & other tools drowned the sounds of birds which had hitherto been one of the pleasures of living in that seaside street. Complaints to the Central Environment Authority resulted in reports of way above permitted levels of noise. However, the perpetrator continued to make & hawk his costly furniture, in particular in the diplomatic market, & was able to send away the odd policeman, who dropped in as a result of desperate complaints, with, probably, rather more than a cuppa to soothe his palate.

    I began to suffer from nerve damage — & not only to the ears — & after 15 years of fighting a losing battle, we abandoned our delightful little house where we had expected to spend the rest of our life.

    If only I had been able to hold out longer. The “antique” dealer made so much money he was able to open several branches of his shop & probably moved his workshop somewhere else. We moved out to another part of town, and, would you believe it, the raucous retailer has set up shop just around the corner — in a rather splendid old building!

    This is not to forget the omnipresent loudspeakers used by religious & political bodies in that area. Even now we are treated to amplified religious cacophanies during festivals from a towering edifice, powerful enough to bring about a name change to the street so that it now basks in a polysyllabic moniker with promises of a state of bliss to come — a deliverance from the ignorance & noise of this imperfect world.

  • 0
    4

    You wrote, /According to Islam, one cannot be a true Muslim, unless his neighbours are safe from his tongue and hands./
    I say, it all depends which verse one reads in the Koran. There are many many verses in the Koran that command Muslims to tax, harass and the infidels. Sufis who only think about going to Allah’s heaven opt not to read them.

    • 0
      5

      the word ‘kill’ is missing at the last but one in the fourth line.

      • 5
        0

        These are words of true singhala racist. The author from minority has taken a bold step to highlight an issue common to all.

        You the Lions (Mythical) of lanka this is the kind of comment you an come up with !

        We dont fail to prove ourselves as mutts over and over again, the recent vote is a stamp on that old proverb.

        I would equate you to a “frog in a well”

        • 0
          0

          Kamal, How can I be a racist when I never ever think or thought I am superior to others. It is Muslims and their Koran that degrade others calling them kafirs. Lions are not racists. So, tell us whether I lied or talked the truth about the Koran and the Sufis above?

  • 1
    2

    Few monks blast pirith through hooters at some suburban temples either in the evenings or throughout night as a tit for tat against ‘AZAN’ that blasts five times every day 365 days in every Mosque.
    Azan may be a beautiful melody for Muslims, but believe me, it is an absolute nuisance for all non-Muslims. I am sure, its the same about Pirith to non-Buddhists. Pirith need not be broadcasted through loudspeakers. If there is a general law to restrict noise like in Singapore, no Buddhist that I know will oppose it. Now, yelling from minarets also produces unbearable noise.

    Its a good thing that Muslims scream Azan in Arabic and not in Sinhala or Tamil. If only non-Muslims know the meaning of those Arabic words like “there is no deity but Allah”, all Buddhists and Hindus would object it vehemently. Or they themselves will start screaming ‘there is no Allah’.

    • 1
      0

      Buddhism is the Most Peaceful religion in the World. Let us keep it that Way!

      “While in the midst
      of those who hate,
      to dwell free from hating
      is happiness indeed.”

      The Buddha
      Dhammapada v. 197

      • 0
        0

        Rationalist – Tell that to the BBS and those other thugs in robes masquerading as ‘Buddhist Priests’! And while your at it, tell it to those Buddhist temples that blare their cassette-sermons without consideration to anyone else.

        • 0
          0

          Peter:-
          “And while your at it, tell it to those Buddhist temples that blare their cassette-sermons without consideration to anyone else.”
          I have already done it! See my Post of 30 March.

  • 2
    0

    A very sensible article. One that needs to be taken seriously by all religious believers, whatever the faith. I do hope the Ulemas issue a fatwa against this practice of calling for prayers using loudspeakers and limit the noise factor to a reasonable 10-15 decibels or so.This way, the peace and quiet of the residents in the neighbourhood is maintained and, so, their sanity.

  • 1
    0

    All loud noises makes human and animal stress!
    ——————————————————————
    Noise control or noise mitigation is a set of strategies to reduce noise pollution or to reduce the impact of that noise, whether outdoors or indoors. The main areas of noise mitigation or abatement are: transportation noise control, architectural design, urban planning through zoning codes,[1] and occupational noise control. Roadway noise and aircraft noise are the most pervasive sources of environmental noise worldwide, and little change has been effected in source control in these areas since the start of the problem,[citation needed] a possible exception being the development of hybrid and electric vehicles. Social activities may generate noise levels that consistently affect the health of populations residing in or occupying areas, both indoor and outdoor, near entertainment venues that feature amplified sounds and music that present significant challenges for effective noise mitigation strategies.

    Multiple techniques have been developed to address interior sound levels, many of which are encouraged by local building codes; in the best case of project designs, planners are encouraged to work with design engineers to examine trade-offs of roadway design and architectural design. These techniques include design of exterior walls, party walls, and floor and ceiling assemblies; moreover, there are a host of specialized means for damping reverberation from special-purpose rooms such as auditoria, concert halls, entertainment and social venues, dining areas, audio recording rooms, and meeting rooms.

    Many of these techniques rely upon materials science applications of constructing sound baffles or using sound-absorbing liners for interior spaces. Industrial noise control is really a subset of interior architectural control of noise, with emphasis upon specific methods of sound isolation from industrial machinery and for protection of workers at their task stations.

    Sound masking is the active addition of noise to reduce the annoyance of certain sounds; the opposite of soundproofing.

  • 2
    0

    Bravo Faizal – Muslims must speak out as you have done. The cure is for the Government to implement the laws on noise pollution.

    • 0
      3

      @Maghribi above says Salaah last only for two minutes and therefore it should be bearable. How’s that fit with you?

      • 0
        0

        I am no muslim

        Practising Muslims endure a lot of inconvenience for the sake of respecting the values of someone else’s customs and their way of life. This trait has brought us huge amounts of economic prosperity to desert lands. The world is changing, adopt or die.

        • 0
          0

          Leave out Islamists respect for other’s customs, I understand that the world is changing. Come again tell us whether you are telling Muhammadans to adopt to kafirs’ way or kafirs to adopt to your way.

  • 0
    1

    real noise pollution is coming from Mosques “calling to prayers” morning noon and night. It is a fact Muslims can’t live with anybody any where. Christianity started in Middle east, and now the Christians can’t even practice their faith. While they demand tolerance from others, they are least tolerant of all the religions. How many temple are they in Saudi Arabia?

  • 0
    0

    real noise pollution is coming from Mosques “calling to prayers” morning noon and night. It is a fact Muslims can’t live with anybody any where. Christianity started in Middle east, and now the Christians can’t even practice their faith. While they demand tolerance from others, they are least tolerant of all the religions. How many temple are in Saudi Arabia?

  • 0
    0

    I have made a complaint about noice pollution to 119…and the thero announced from the loudspeaker it self that he will find the number of the person who complained..is this possible???

  • 0
    0

    Woah, saruni! Good piece of information, this.

    Be careful. It seems that this thero feels he is above the law. Possibly, the police feel the same way.

    There has been some kind of low, thrumming noise from what I am quite sure is a distant loudspeaker that seems to begin at around 5.30 or 5.45 am. I assume this is when it begins because I wake up around this time with speaking/chanting pounding in my head, giving me a headache. This same noise source may be playing in the evenings too and even at 10 or 11 pm at night.

    However, who dares complain? :(

  • 0
    0

    As a foreigner I probably shouldn’t complain and try to adapt, but I’ve been waking up almost every day at 4:00 AM.
    Complaining would feel quite good, I don’t have a problem with that.
    How does one complain?

    P.S:I could understand if Sri Lanka was a Muslim country, but i don’t think it is (not yet at least).

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