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Explosive Holiday Traditions

 CTV.ca reports on how a Muslim Ramadan tradition has hit a snag.

For generations, the Sandouka family has fired a cannon in Jerusalem’s Old City during the month of Muslim Ramadan.

The “boom” has signified the end of the daily fast since the city was under Ottoman rule — but the keepers of the cannon may soon be silenced.

This year, Israeli authorities told Rajjah Sandouka he needs multiple permits and a $2,000 course to legally handle the explosives used to create the noise.

If Sandouka doesn’t conform, the tradition could be taken over by an arms expert, placed by the government.

To members of the Muslim community, cannon fire without the Sandouka family just wouldn’t sound the same.

“They don’t trust us,” said one imam through a translator.

“Israel just wants to control everything.”

The cannon dispute is one of many in a city considered holy by Jews, Muslims and Christians.

Israel has restricted prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during this year’s Ramadan to try and avoid clashes.

“It’s ours. For the Muslim, it’s a kind of right of the religion,” one man said, referring to the mosque.

The Israeli government says the measures are meant to keep its people safe.

But the regulations may cost Sandouka an important part of his family’s identity.

“I learn my sons how to continue after me, the cannon,” he said.

Sandouka has a year to comply with the government’s regulations.

If he doesn’t, he’ll be banned from igniting the fuse that sparks a cherished tradition.

Funny, but I don’t see them reporting about how another Muslim holiday tradition also hit a snag.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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