MAY 03, 2007
One of the nation’s largest airports has spent U.S. tax dollars to add foot-washing basins in public bathrooms to accommodate hundreds of Muslim cab drivers who demanded the facilities to prepare for daily Islamic prayer.
In a clear violation of the separation of church and state, officials at Kansas City International Airport used public funds to please the Middle Eastern cab drivers who requested appropriate facilities to conduct a foot-cleansing ritual that precedes praying to Allah five times a day.
The Islamic taxi drivers complained that public restroom sinks did not fulfill their needs and demanded floor-level basins that would facilitate the task. Photos of the basins show four individual wash benches across from knee-high faucets and handrails.
Airport police are worried that the new facilities will lead to Middle Eastern men loitering inside the airport and one airport official questioned why the Kansas City Aviation Department constructed a place of worship for Muslims and not any other religion.
The official version from airport officials is that the facilities were not built for the exclusive use of any ethnic group or culture. It just happens that Muslims requested the facilities, leaving no question who they were created for. One blogger presents a good question; Do Americans have a cultural need for foot-washing in public places?
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