Praying for our demise. via Airport’s garage now Muslim house of worship | Matier And Ross | an SFGate.com blog. h/t
Here’s a sign of the changing times — Muslim cabbies now have their very own place at San Francisco International Airport to wash their hands and feet before they pray.
Under Islamic law, Muslims are required to pray five times a day — a ritual that also calls for a ceremonial cleansing.
For many cab drivers, that’s meant either lugging bottled water around or using one of the bathrooms inside the terminal to wash — a practice not always welcomed by airport passengers.
So Royal Cab driver Hasan Khan, 52, a Pakistani immigrant, collected some 300 signatures from fellow cabbies, urging the airport to give them their own cleansing station.
Airport brass obliged — and the wash equipment was installed on the ground floor of the main garage, right next to where the drivers congregate for their breaks.
“The way we look at it…this was in the interest of maintaining a good relationship with ground transportation providers,’’ says airport spokesman Doug Yakel.
As for using public resources?
Yes, your taxpayer dollars are being used. But as usual, for Muslims, it’s ok.
Yakel says the costs were nominal, with the work done by in-house plumbers.
As for Khan, he recognizes not everyone might appreciate the religious accommodation. But then he points out that Christians generally pray at church on Sundays — while for him and his fellow working Muslims, the ritual is woven into their daily routine.
And from the looks of things, they’re grateful.
“We are very happy,’’ said Ahmed Algazali, 49, a fellow driver from Yemen as he prepared to join Khan for a late-afternoon garage prayer.