CWC Attempting to Make Muslims Feel At Home
Cricket World Cup team organizers are doing everything they can to make visiting Pakistan Muslim players feel right at home regarding the special requirements of the Muslim religion. Excerpts from Telugu Portal (link here)…
Cricket: Woolmer Arranges For Prayer Room, “Halal” Meat
Jaipur, Oct 19 (IANS) As part of his meticulous 2007 World Cup planning, Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has already identified a place for prayers for players and arranged for ‘halal’ meat in the West Indies. Pakistan will stay and play their three Pool D league matches at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, during the 16-nation tournament in March-April.
Woolmer, who was here for Pakistan’s Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka, identified the mosque and arranged for ‘halal’ meat, a particular way that Muslims cut it, during his visit to the West Indies to attend a managers’ meeting in Barbados last month.
“I was fortunate to go to the managers’ meeting and I could see all plans and preparations,” Woolmer told IANS.
“We got (plans for) the ‘halal’ food and prayer rooms — we worked out all the things we need (during the visit),” he disclosed.
…An Indian-born former England Test player, Woolmer said that since time would be short during the World Cup, he went there to help arrange things that would help players concentrate only on their game.
“It’s important to try and get the environment right for the players. That was useful for us to go over there,” he said about the trip he made along with Pakistan Cricket Board official Asad Mustafa.
Pakistani players usually pray in the dressing room during matches or in their hotel rooms. But there is no such provision to have collective prayers in hotels. Woolmer was keen that such arrangement was also made in hotels during the World Cup so that a team spirit and bonding could be built.
“The prayer room will be within the team hotel,” he said.
“In a one-day game you don’t have much (free) time; only 45 minutes (interval) really. The guys also pray separately when they want to,” said the Englishman, referring to their practice of praying in their rooms….
… read the full article here.
What About The Toilets?
To most Christians, it seems that our Muslim friends have a lot of rules and do’s and don’ts associated with their religion. Food restrictions, dress codes, mandated prayer at certain times while facing Mecca, mandated fasting, specific washing routines of specific body parts at specific times and in a certain order (whew!) and so on.
So with the view that anything we can do to make a guest welcome in our country is just plain good manners, why not extend some courtesy when possible?
The Toilets Are The Hard Part – Should We Change Them Around In The Hotels And Cricket Stadiums?
As I read in more than a few places, Muslims aren’t allowed to use the toilet while facing Mecca, thus various housing projects and even jail cells in Britain have been redesigned so that the toilets do not point towards the city. (No, I’ve never actually been to Mecca as Infidels like me – ie: Christians, Buddhists, any non-Muslims at all – aren’t allowed to enter the city of Mecca. In fact, Infidels aren’t even allowed to ride in a vehicle on the highway that goes towards Mecca.)
Several hotels in various non-Muslim countries around the world are reserving entire floors for Muslims and changing around the toilets, etc. to accommodate the demands that Islam places upon members. Of course, no people of other faiths are allowed on these floors. Even the maids and hotel service people are all required to be Muslim to enter the floor.
What do you think, folks? Should any of the hotels on Barbados set aside floors for Muslims only?
… And more importantly, should hotels on the island be able to turn away people on the basis of their religion if, say a non-Muslim wanted a room and the only one available was on a “Muslim” reserved floor?
What do you think?