Sunday, April 23, 2006

Feng shui the Middle Eastern way

You'd think only the superstitious Chinese would be meticulous about which direction their beds, doors, furnishings, and what have you should face. Turns out Prophet Mo's followers are very picky as well.... particularly with their loos.

The Home Office said two new toilet blocks are being installed as part of a refurbishment at Brixton jail in south London.

Faith leaders had told prison bosses it was unacceptable for Muslim inmates to face Mecca while using the toilet.



Anonymous said...

So it's not ok for them to face Mecca while defecating, but it's ok for their nether regions to be pointing that way?

I skimmed the article, it didn't appear to say if the offending direction was the great circle route to Mecca or the "Mecca is East" approximation. If it's just that the loo points East (or West), maybe it would be cheaper to draw an arrow on the floor pointing out the great circle direction.

Edwardson said...

And with a Malaysian astronaut going up to the heavens James Randi notes the special demands that will pose:

"Consider the busy day of an astronaut, and know that a Muslim on board the space station will be confounded by the fact that he experiences more than a dozen sunrises and sunsets within each 24 hours, each event requiring that an appropriate prayer be offered. He’ll be very busy. And, since Muslims always wash before they pray, and water is a precious substance in space, attempting to wash up is also expensive and impractical, especially in weightlessness, where the water will be distributed all over the place.

"Even before facing those difficulties, facing Mecca – essential for prayer – will be pretty tough in zero-gravity, and may lead to catastrophic spinning of the devotee as he tries to keep pointing toward a rapidly-moving target below."