Saturday, December 09, 2006

More to the Gym Story

You know, when the story first broke about the Muslim who was rudely interrupted at prayer, then told by the gym's staff
The manager told me, 'You have to respect her (the patron), but she does not have to respect your God,' " said Wardeh Sultan of Dearborn.
- something about it just didn't ring true to me. I was sure that the staff would have bent over backwards to treat Ms. Sultan with respect, particularly in Detroit, where so many Muslims live. I didn't understand why the staff member would have said "you have to respect her" - the other member.

Now I understand. In Front Page Magazine's story by Janet Levy: (Oy! Her supposed religious/ethnic background will allow the story to be ignored)
According to Jodi Berry, executive director of Fitness USA, Wardeh Sultan was praying in front of another member’s locker when the member wanted access to her belongings inside the locker. The inconvenienced patron tried to interrupt Ms. Sultan, but she remained prostrate in front of the locker and an altercation ensued. A manager was called into the locker room to intervene.
OK.

Now it makes sense. The director wasn't making a gratuitous snide comment, but simply stating reasonable expectations about Ms. Sultan's need to respect her fellow gym users' need to have access to their lockers - even if it interrupted her prayers. In other words, she needed to act as though the world didn't have to stop 5 times a day to accommodate her.

This is an example of an unreasonable accommodation. Western society isn't set up for separate prayer rooms in businesses. Nor should businesses and government offices and buildings have to provide them. They never provided a place for me to quietly say the rosary.

Ms. Sultan and her fellow Muslims need to understand. We don't stop for them to say their prayers. We never did. We don't HAVE to now. If a business or person wants to wait, that's fine. But, unlike the countries that have imposed mandatory observance, we don't have to.

Don't like it?

Move to a Muslim country.

Think I'm being unfair? Or rude? Let me explain what happens in those countries.
Residents of a southern Somalia town who do not pray five times a day will be beheaded, an official said Wednesday, adding the edict will be implemented in three days.

Shops, tea houses and other public places in Bulo Burto, about 124 miles northeast of the capital, Mogadishu, should be closed during prayer time and no one should be on the streets, said Sheik Hussein Barre Rage, the chairman of the town's Islamic court. His court is part of a network backed by armed militiamen that has taken control of much of southern Somalia in recent months, bringing a strict interpretation of Islam that is alien to many Somalis.

Those who do not follow the prayer edict after three days have elapsed, "will definitely be beheaded according to Islamic law," Rage told The Associated Press by phone. "As Muslims we should practice Islam fully, not in part, and that is what our religion enjoins us to do."
Granted, this is extreme, but most Muslim countries have rules about not working during prayer time - even for non-Muslims. It's not optional.

It's the law.

1 comment:

Akaky said...

This goes along with the Muslim cabdrivers who won't pick up blind people because their seeing eye dogs are considered ritually unclean. I think what we have here is a fairly massive superiority complex in which the believers get to establish the rules and everyone else has to kiss their asses. Someone should have informed Ms. Sultan that the world does not revolve around the five pillars of Islam, much as she would like it to.