Cricket World Cup: Special Meals, Prayer Rooms For Pakistan Muslim Team… But What About The Toilets?

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?

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34 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Culture & Race Issues, Religion

34 responses to “Cricket World Cup: Special Meals, Prayer Rooms For Pakistan Muslim Team… But What About The Toilets?

  1. You present a false dichotomy, with your idea of that Muslim compatible means “only for Muslims”. I think that there can be room in a free market economy for any enterprising individual or company to provide facilities that cater to any group or segment of society.

  2. jde

    It seems to me that the World is expected to accommodate a religious culture (muslim) that isn’t the slightest bit accommodating itself.

  3. God.

    It seems to Me
    that the time for silly,
    nay idiotic, man-made religious rubbish like this
    is waaay past its time!

    You guys have got to get past this ritual and dogma and get back to the Real ME.

  4. Grouping all “Muslims” together is like grouping all “Christians” together or all “Whites” together or all “Blacks” together.
    Yes there are extremist in the Muslim faith, it is not the only faith to have extremist.

    Remember, Remember the 5th of November? That was a Catholic plot. Do we need to see Crosses burning to remember that the Christian faith is not with out its bigoted and intolerant adherents?

    Besides what bad about being tolerant of intolerance, as long as they don’t break the law they are entitilted to believe what ever they want.

    Personally, I will never set foot in a country with Sharia law.

  5. Yo!

    It’s so patently clear that the Muslim world knows they can take advantage of our silly Political Correctness
    (of which they themselves have no part,of course)
    but geez it’s fun to see the Western Christian world wringing their hands in self-imposed PC, isn’t it?

    Does this work for Islam?
    – you bet!
    …………………..
    So we say,instead..
    NO Halal meat.
    NO compass-oriented toilets
    – just a hole in the ground,
    just like Back Home
    (gotta make you feel AT HOME,brother!)
    no special nuthin!

    Dis be WE country,
    just like how when we come to your miserable country,
    we have to do without Sinful Alcohol,
    and other religious-inspired inconveniencies.

    WHAT THEN?
    -you won’t come?

    Awwww.. we gonna MISS you..tsk tsk.

  6. Phoenix

    This whole accomodating muslims thing is getting really big i see. Sure there are some people in all religions who take things to the extreme, but there is something about the muslim faith i dont know what that makes it so easy for people to go to the extreme.
    But back on the topic, the food is ok, but the toilets and special rooms and special floors in hotels is absolute rubbish, anybody else would have to just deal with it and make do. Unfortunately nowadays, dont nobody want to make the muslims uncomfortable in any way for fear of jihad. And i dont blame them, u see wat happen when one person draws a cartoon? You know how many insulting cartoons exist about christians and christianity?
    Oh well, we dont want that reaction here though. Peace and love.

  7. My toilet needs a seat….

  8. Jane

    Disposable Arts, so you can sit down anyway around?

  9. yea…i sometimes sit to the side, and soak my feet in the shower while i umm you kno…read the comic section of the newspaper ( ‘_’ )

  10. virtropic

    If Muhamed Ali were to visit Barbados and asked for similar special arrangements I wonder what the reaction would be. Are these comments about Muslims or about Pakistanis? I wonder.

    Most muslims I know are quite happy eating Jewish kosher or vegetarian meals if halal is not available. Kosher food? No problem – jewsih people got money. Halal food? get lost. Many carry a small compass to know where to face when to pray. But then we are very good at tarring a billion people just because a cricket team of 11 players asked for special consideration.

    As far as Yo!’s comments one just has to look at Barbados visa requirements to know which people are not welcome here. Naturally all white folk can come here without visas. All Africans except Nigerians and South Africans on the other hand need visas to visit here. If you treat your own distant family that way how can you be expected to accomodate anybody else? Oh I forgot – Africa she poor. White man he rich. If white man asked for a hole in the ground we be happy cos we can charge he more then wouldnt we?

    Its amusing to see how quickly the opressed adopt the opressive/discriminatory attitudes of the opressors within a generation or two.

  11. i and i

    for a blog that seeks to provide an alternative view to what our pathetic media gives us, u r not doing much better. u blanketly paint a billion people with one brush. if any of u would remove the blindfolds over your eyes, u would realise that islam and muslims are not this big monolithic entity. islam and muslims are diverse people with many schools of thought, jurisprudence, histories, cultures etc. but then it doesnt suit your narrow world view to acknowledge that. its better to have the monolithis bogey man to direct your hatred against. dont throw stones when u live in a glass house. no religion or nationality has a history where they can act as if they posess moral or ethical monopoly. i pity people like u. u condemn islamic fundamentalists and liberals and communists and the list goes on. how do u excuse your hatred?

  12. Been There Five Times

    Andrew said…

    “You present a false dichotomy, with your idea of that Muslim compatible means “only for Muslims”. I think that there can be room in a free market economy for any enterprising individual or company to provide facilities that cater to any group or segment of society. ”

    I have been refused entry to Muslim-only hotels in SE Asia four times in two countries and just last month I was refused entry to a Japanese-race-only hotel in Osaka.

    Rules like this are very common in much of the world but the media ignore it. Good for this blog for daring to point out something that the “real” media is too uncomfortable to acknowledge.

  13. BFP

    i and i said, “how do u excuse your hatred? ”

    And there is a key part of the problem, ladies and gentlemen: i and i says that merely ASKING if Barbados should allow hotels to refuse rooms to non-Muslims is “hatred” – when many hotels around the world (and not just in Muslim countries) regularly refuse rooms on the basis of religion.

    …. and “i and i” says that merely MENTIONING the subject is “hatred”.

    Interesting strategy to silence free thought and all too common.

    Nope… not going to happen here folks! We will keep asking the questions that make people “uncomfortable”.

  14. The BFP presented this view as necessary. I simply pointed out that logically it did not need to be so. That other countries have gone done this route does not mean that it is necesssary to do so here.

  15. virtropic

    Yes, you are right – it does not have to happen here. The more interesting aspect though is to understand why not. If someone were to say we dont get many muslim tourists here so all these rooms will go waste after the World Cup, that is a perfectly understandable rationale.

    If on the other hand the reasons are (for example) because of some sort of a principled (?) stand against accomodating Muslims, it just does not make sense. Do we in Barbados need to act as the conscience of the world and take this stand? There are countries with better reasons to not accomodate muslims such as the UK and US that still grovel in front of the Saudis. In spite of all the talk of democracy in the ME the only reason the Saudi monarchy survives is Western support.

    We should simply welcome all decent people to this island and make them as comfortable as possible so they keep coming back and spending their money. When elephants fight the grass gets hurt, when elephants make love too the grass gets hurt. Little countries like ours should stay out of these issues until we are directly affected. What wrong have the Pakistanis ever done us? We can give them the toilets if its doable. If not just say “sorry mate, cant be done” and get on with life. To make this an issue over ‘accomodating’ muslims seems childish at best, bigoted at worst.

  16. Green!

    The issue was not accomodating Muslims.
    It was accomodating Muslims
    who might insist on Westward-facing toilets
    and provision of Halal meat.
    (and other religious idiosyncracies)

    Oh dear..I just realized that both the toilets in my house FACE WEST!
    Yikes!
    – does this mean I’M the one who must put them up for World Cup 2007?
    Allah Akhbar! (gulp!)

  17. 16 Yrs- Disappointed

    It pains me to know that the world cricket cup organisers simply wish to accomodate a team in order to make their competing more comfortable and this press seems to take this as a direct invitation to lash out at a religion that it obviously seems to have ‘discomfort’ with. We start on the issue of cricket and we are suddenly biasly transported to Mecca. I am 16 years old yet I find the most of other comments (which I assume were posted by adults) childish! A move in Barbados to better accomodate a relatively foreign religion, in essense the first step in the acceptance of the diversity of cultures (By the way… just in case you weren’t sure expect people from India& Pakistan to spectate, Wow, not only 11 players we’re accomodating) should be embrassed. But instead of displaying to the world how embrassing we are to other people of the world it may seem like this press wants to advertise to the world hostility towards foreign. To all extra-Barbadian viewers of this website we (Bajans) are actually quite tolerant to other cultures…..well…… in general.

  18. RRRicky

    Many people have commented here but NO ONE has addressed the question asked by Barbados Free Press:

    …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?

    Do some research on the internet. There are many hotels that restrickt customers because they are not Muslm.

    SHOULD BARBADOS ALLOW HOTELS TO REFUSE PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A CERTAIN RELIGION?

    I say “No”!!!!!

  19. 16 Yrs- Amused

    C’mon peoples! Only people on this press are suggesting such extremes as to drastically remodel hotel infrastruture as to make entire floors for people of one religion only in Barbados. The extreme may exist in other countries, given, but it wouldn’t (well at least it shouldn’t) happen here. I have become of the opinion that the only possible reason religiously that a muslim would not allow someone of another faith on their praying grounds is that they like to keep it clean (e.g they themselves do not wear shoes on their praying grounds). This restriction on a floor in other countries is cultural and I assume it is because as muslims praying they are vulnerable (watch one praying, it is almost ritualistic looking, observe that they focus down in front of themselves during prayer therefore if the prayer is to be done correctly they literally cannot watch their backs without disturbing the prayer) to disturbances or even attacks. Oh my goodness! Who would want to attack muslims? (other that verbally of course because some of you guys are doing well in that regard) Is it possible that they may not be liked by people in the world???

  20. Pingback: If Barbados Taxi Drivers Refused To Take Passengers With Bags Of Duty-Free Booze… « Barbados Free Press

  21. i and i

    it is not that u ask the question but the way u constantly sensationalise stories about islam and muslims. very fox like!!! everything about islam and muslims u have on your site is negative. and anyone that disagrees with u faces your wrath. what u need to do is take your myopic head out of the sand and do some reading, studying and mixing with people. there are a billion muslims around teh world and not only are they different on the basis of continents and countries but within countries and communities. there are dozens of interpretations of islamic law and centuries old traditions of schlarship. most muslims dontn give a **** about the few extremists that have in conjunction with the western media monopolised public perceptions of their religion. this obviously is ignored by the western media because it doesnt suit their sensationalist intents and scare tactics. most muslims would find this whole story about hotels rather amusing!!!

    ****Edited by Robert

    Watch your language, i and i.

  22. A muslim

    Just stumbled on this website and after reading these comments, I had to laugh out loud. I am a muslim born right here in Barbados. If we travel and the toilets are facing towards the Kabaa we don’t make a big fuss about it. We simply just turn ourselves while using the toilet so we’re not facing the Kabaa. Many of you seem to have a negative view about Islam and I invite you to learn more about this peaceful way of life as Islam is not a religion but it’s a way of life.

  23. West Side Davie

    Hello Bajan Muslim

    I have no problem with my Muslim friends and neighbours and they have no problem with me. As far as many of us having a “negative view of Islam”, yes, I do.

    This “negative view” is based upon the actions of a minority of Muslims, but it is a sizable minority that is at the very least tens of millions of muslims.

    I don’t have a problem with you, you don’t have a problem with me at this time, but Muslims are a tiny tiny portion of Barbados population.

    Where the Muslims are or become a larger proportion of the population, it is always followed by demands that the society change to Muslim standards (ie Britain and toilets, holidays, Sharia law etc etc etc)

    Where the Muslims are or become a larger proportion of the population the violence always starts too.

    So no, I don’t have a problem right now with Muslims on Barbados, and Muslims don’t have a problem with me or the fact that my girlfriend doesn’t wear headcovering. But Catholic girls in France are now wearing headcoverings to avoid harrassment and even rape by Muslims seeking to enforce Muslim standards.

    So we are ok until Muslims reach a larger proportion of the population.

    Then we become Trinidad and the bombs start.

  24. Jane

    West Side Davie that’s a horrible thing to say.

  25. West Side Davie

    So is this standard Muslim prayer from the Hadith…

    “And the Jews will hide behind the rock and tree, and the rock and tree will say: ‘O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!”

    and this one also from the Hadith:

    “The Prophet said: ‘The Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them. The Muslims will kill the Jews. Rejoice! Rejoice in Allah’s victory!’ ”

    Please tell us all Bajan Muslim, that you do not believe in the above that the Prophet said. Clearly and without reservation, renounce it now.

    Then I will know the truth of how you think Islam should conduct itself.

  26. West Side Davie

    Also a horrible thing is the Sharia law requirement that four male witnesses are required to prove rape. Women’s testimony has no weight (not just the victim, but independent female witnesses as well).

    Pakistan wants to change this but is having a devil of a time because it is Sharia law. Therefore, any woman rape victim who cannot produce four male witnesses is said to be the instigator of the offence and is often punished.

    “She tempted me” is a standard defense claim against a rape charge. Without four male witnesses, the rapist is always set free.

    Don’t believe me, do your own research on the internet.

    Here is a start from yesterday…

    http://www.metimes.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20061127-052440-6572r

    KARACHI, Pakistan — Thousands of supporters of hardline Islamic parties staged a rally in Karachi Sunday in protests against the passage of a bill that amends the country’s Islamic rape laws.

    Pakistani parliament this month voted that rape and adultery cases should no longer be heard under the country’s harsh religious laws. The Islamic hardliners boycotted the proceedings.

    The laws currently say that women must produce four Muslim male witnesses as evidence of rape – an almost impossible burden of evidence – or potentially face adultery charges themselves.

    The maximum sentence for adultery by a man or a woman under the laws is death by stoning, although that has never been enforced and those convicted of the crime get jail or a fine instead.

    **************************************************

    PLEASE tell us, Bajan Muslim, that you believe that Sharia is wrong, and that Barbados Laws and Rule of Law should be the standard of this nation.

  27. passin thru

    West Side… a little less acid please!

    Not all Muslims believe all that stuff.

  28. Out Dey In Bim

    West Side Davie

    Thanks for having the guts to call a spade a spade.I hate hypocrites.What you’ve said is so true and the evidence is out for who want to find it,not only from western sources,but from their very own islamic ones as you proved in the Pakistani case.

    But bajans always like pretending until the fecal matter hits the fan as they say.

  29. Pat

    Passing thru:

    It is not a matter of what is believed – it is what is practiced.

    Pakistan is nothing compared to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. To think that the US and all those countries went to throw Saddam out of Kuwait and for what? Women cant go out in public without permission from a male, even if it is her 4 year old son. Then there are the honour killings of young women. I dont want to go on, not on this our Independence Day. It is simply barbaric.

  30. West Side Davie

    Maybe all this helps us to appreciate what we have. Sometimes we all get down about “certain ‘tings” around here, but we live in a beautiful country with wonderful people as our friends and neighbours.

    It is a good day to appreciate that.

  31. passin thru

    I’ll think about what you have said WSD.

    Meanwhile, on your main theme of asking the Bajan Muslim to renounce violence and what the prophet said, I’ll wait along with everyone else for the Bajan Muslim to declare that he doesn’t believe in that “kill the Jews” stuff and that it is morally wrong

  32. passin thru

    ho ho… I see from the Pakistan story that only “male” witnesses are not enough. The witnesses must be not only “male” they have to be muslim too.

  33. A muslim

    I understand why you all of you have ‘problems’ with the Shariah law. But don’t judge Islam on the whole based on such laws. I invite you all to really study about Islam. Here’s a website you can start with. http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/archive/index2.php?vPart=40&startno=1&thelang=E

  34. Jason

    A muslim said “…But don’t judge Islam on the whole based on such laws.”

    Are you saying that Shariah law is optional to being a good muslim? That you don’t recognize these laws as having any authority in your life?

    Double talk, my friend.

    NOW TO THE RENOUNCING VIOLENCE PART…

    West Side Davie asked you to clearly renounce violence…

    “…also from the Hadith:

    “The Prophet said: ‘The Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them. The Muslims will kill the Jews. Rejoice! Rejoice in Allah’s victory!’ ”

    Please tell us all Bajan Muslim, that you do not believe in the above that the Prophet said. Clearly and without reservation, renounce it now.”

    HOW ABOUT IT “A Muslim”?

    Do you renounce violence and the above? If not, well – I really have very little more to say to you.