On Thursday August 11th, a number of mosques in the Palestinian city of Nablus in the Occupied West Bank played Umm Kulthum over their loudspeakers instead of the call to prayer.
This was not popular with the locals living within earshot of the mosques, and caused enough of a controversy that the Palestinian Ministry of Islamic Affairs has created a special committee tasked with investigating the circumstances of the incident.
An official source from the ministry said that this malfunction happened in a number of mosques in a village west of Nablus, specifically in about four or five mosques, and confirmed that the malfunction did not penetrate the greater network of mosques which is headquartered at the Haj Nimr Mosque.
Typically, the call to prayer plays in each mosque simultaneously by virtue of radio transmission. While interference happens on occasion, this is the largest and most unusual interference that people in Nablus can recall ever happening.
He added that an employee from the local Nablus government, who is in charge of the transmissions, discovered the malfunction on Bleibla road in the city, fixed the problem, and doesn’t know yet if it was intentional or not.
The source said that technicians are checking all possibilities. All broadcasts since the incident have been the correct call to prayer.
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