University Installs Foot Baths for Muslims

WCVB (Boston), November 29, 2011

As the nation’s Muslim population grows, so does debate over religious accommodation.

In Boston, one university has taken steps to help Muslim students maintain an important ritual: bathing before prayer.

At the center for English Language and Orientation at Boston University students come from all over the world to master English. The largest group is Muslims.

“We have to pray five times, and every five times we have to wash,” said student Reeema Alashgar.

It’s a ritual that includes washing the feet.

“Using our bathroom ended up being a messy situation with a lot of water on the floor,” said Center director Margot Veldivia.

So when the center upgraded the bathrooms they installed ritual foot baths.

“The students have been very grateful. They didn’t ask for this but rather we understood the tradition and how necessary it was in their daily lives,” she said.

{snip}

Across the country a number of universities, including the University of Michigan in Dearborn and George Washington University in Washington D.C., have installed foot baths.

So have two airports, the Indianapolis Airport and KCI Airport in Kansas City, Missouri. In each case the move came with some degree of resistance.

{snip}

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  • Hans Schneider CYYZ

    This is sheer stupidity, you give them one thing and they will insist on another. Stop pandering to Muslims and put America first. Make it so unfriendly for them in order to get rid of them.

  • Eric

    Well, it’s not nearly as bad as a small group of students praying before class. Surely not as I’ve seen no groundswell of leftist professors, liberal Jewish groups or ACLU lawyers trying to shut this down.

  • Anonymous

    What? No one screaming “separation of church and state” this time?

    [While Boston University is private, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and therefore not subject to the Establishment Clause, Kansas City International airport, owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, also has these foot baths. — Moderator]

  • Shawn (the female)

    And this is how they conquer the continent. Locally, and bit by bit, step by small step they rewrite our county without raising awareness nationally. This is exactly how you wake up one day and no longer recognize the country you live in.

  • Anonymous

    Hen i have to walk too much my feet hurt, do you think i could use the footbath to relieve my pain?

  • Matt

    I’ve not seen a footbath to date in a public washroom, but when I do encounter my first one, I may ‘mistake’ it for a urinal. Good chance many other non-Muslim men will do the same.

  • Uptown

    Foot baths have been installed at the San Francisco City Hall.

  • GMU Student

    I’m a student at George Mason University, one of the first in the country to get these footbaths. We have tons of Muslim students, including some women in full face veils with only their eyes visible.

    The footbaths in the ladies rooms are like miniature showers with a tiled ledge on which to sit. They were expensive to install, but we were told they were necessary for liability reasons. Muslims were running their feet under bathroom sink faucets and leaving sloppy puddles on the bathroom floors. Apparently some also tried to sit or stand on sinks and smashed several off the walls.

    I actually used one in the Johnson Center after walking through mud in sandals, and a Muslim woman glared at me while waiting her turn (this one had her face exposed). I was astonished she would be openly rude about my using a facility officially provided for all students, including blond Christians like myself. It’s not like it’s Islamic holy water! Muslim college students are usually more subtle with their hostility…

  • lowly

    I don’t see how accommodating folks you’ve invited is a terrible thing. It’s reasonable, and just plain polite. I think the issue of how accommodating Muslims are toward other religions is separate from this.

    On the other foot, it can’t possibly be dusty enough to wash your friggin’ feet five times a day. That’s just ridiculous. Muslims could show a little regard and schlepp their own water or sand around, rather than funk up public bathrooms.

  • Anonymous

    If Muslims want to have footbaths for religious reasons, they should only do so in Muslim countries. Respect never goes both ways for Muslims because they believe their religion is ‘true’ while the others are ‘false’, hence their intolerance and lack of respect for other religions. If Christians (or any other non-Muslim) wanted to have special things catering to them in Muslim countries, the Muslims would probably never allow it. Yet they hypocritically demand the rest of the non-Muslim world to kowtow to their demands. Sick and disgusting.

  • Vito Danelli

    Perhaps we should just all enjoy the insanity of it all and use these foot baths ourselves whenever we come upon them. Surely these worshipers of Allah wouldn’t be offended by that.

  • Anonymoose

    Fine with me, as long as anyone can use them. Middle Easterners are not the only people who get tired “dogs” as the day wears on. If they want exclusivity, they can rent the space. As long as the rest of us can do the same. How about an exclusive place for white males to comb their hair? Or African Americans to brush their teeth? Might as well add toilet facilities while you’re at it, just to make things more convenient. No other special reason.

    Wait a minute. Didn’t we once experience a vast social upheaval to settle this very issue? Honestly, if you want to pray, go to chapel. If you want to go to the bathroom or wash yourself, you have to either use the public facilities open to all or use private facilities privately paid for.

  • HH

    People should take note – this type of thing proves to me that the supposed war against Christianity that many on the Right are fond of mentioning has never really been that at all. No, it has been a war against WHITE people who happen to be primarily Christian, and their traditional cultural ways! You see right here(and in Europe) the Left isn’t necessarily hostile toward religion per se – but the are hostile toward WHITES, and they hate anything associated therewith!

  • Uncle Bob

    I actually used one in the Johnson Center…

    Now, there’s a great idea. Get everyone to use them and love them and dilute their silly exclusivity.

  • Anonymous

    I find the first comment on this piece rather silly: “Make it (America) so unfriendly for them in order to get rid of them.” I trust that a similar comment about ‘Jews’ or ‘blacks’ would stir the moderator. Let’s not forget that the first amendment is quite specific on freedom of religion – does the commentator suggest ‘getting rid’ of American converts to Islam? There are legitimate concerns around the influx of any large numbers of people who might not readily or willingly assimilate but, with respect, comments of this type do not move us forward.

  • gg

    Well, at least their feet will be clean, if nothing else.

    And…Why are Muslim women like football cheerleaders?

    They both shower after the second period.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like another toilet to me. Or a good place for pork scraps.

  • Bandmo

    But just dare try to set up a “Christmat Tree” anywhere on the property.

  • JIMMYMACK

    WE SHOULD CONSIDER THESE FOOT WASHER FIXTURES AS NEW STYLE URINALS

  • Anon

    America is finished, by letting the muslims in they have a trojan horse.

  • rjp

    I agree — Separattion of Church and State.

    How about as a compromise the facilities hang a crucifix or the Ten Commandments above the foot wash? Hell throw a Star of David up there too. Put a Budda over the sink – maybe the water could stream out his belly button. Maybe have Krishna chants play over the washroom’s speakers. Stained glass mirrors? Oh and I forgot, a rolling paper dispenser for the Rastas. Did I forget anyone?

  • john

    This is pandering of the most disgusting sort. Are we now to bring traffic to a stop in busy cities because Muslims want to pray en-masse in the streets?

    And what about the spread of foot fungi in public places in which Muslims are allowed to remove their footwear in order to “wash” their feet?

  • Bob

    I work at a major University.

    I have to share a bathroom with lots and lots of people including some Muslims.

    Currently they wash their feet in the bathroom sinks. I would prefer that they have footbaths available so I’m not confronted with people washing their feet in the bathroom sinks.

    It certainly doesn’t make me want to wash up after I use the facilities.

  • Anonymous

    They can have their foot baths, when Saudi Arabia allows the building of a church there. Accommodation works both ways.

  • Allan

    I suppose it varies with the sects of Islam, but I was told by a Pakistani Muslim, many years ago, that if he put on socks after he bathed in the morning, he was not required to repeat the foot ablution unless he removed the socks during the day. Perhaps we should suggest to some of these Muslims that they keep their socks on. I know that, generally, they do not remove their socks for prayer.

  • Anonymous

    Universities need money, hence the influx of foreign students. The US universities and colleges even have satellite branches in these countries in order to recruit them. Its because “they pay their money up-front.” American universities have become like corporations now…

  • Anonymous

    Any one who has traveled or lived in the middle east should be aware that the locals do not use toilet paper, in fact it may be forbidden in their rules. The “foot bath” ploy is a joke, that is not the main purpose.

  • Tough Guy

    Maybe universities and airports can start providing ganja for Rastafarians. I wonder if these universities claim to be “green.” Seems like an awful lot of water to waste. Maybe this is part of Obamanomics and will create jobs and water treatment facilities.

  • Question Diversity

    It was not that long ago when most college and university dorms had communal showers. I’m not talking about the gym showers, I’m talking about the actual residence halls. I imagine some still do. I’m surprised there isn’t any Muslim outrage about that.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.religionfacts.com/ No. 21 you can go there to see some more of the worlds religions. How about Wicca, Satanism, Voodoo, if you accommodate one won’t you have to do the same for the others? OK NO. 3 I guess since the university is private they don’t use tax money is what you are saying. I bet in winter they clear the roads of snow using tax money which allows people to go to school therefore promoting religion. Is that a stretch or what?

  • Richie Sambora

    What strikes me odd is how even conservative Christian college campuses have taken heed to appeasing the “religion of peace”. In Indianapolis, a rather conservative Methodist university ( University of Indianapolis) have erected a seperate room with a foot bath and a seperate prayer room for Moslem students. And this being a college where most of the students are conservative white Christians from the heartland of America! Where does it stop? No, really!

  • Spartan24

    Brigitte Gabriel, a Lebanese Christian, has said that she lived in the Middle East for the first 25 years of her life and never saw a foot bath. This just goes to show that they are a way to force Islam off on the rest of us.

  • Steve

    Phoenix Sky Harbor International airport installed Muslim foot baths in the year 2007 it appears. The Jihad Watch website posted an article in 2007 regarding the installation of the foot baths. The airport’s 9 board members are chosen by the mayor and city council to 4 year terms. These board members make recommendations to the city council regarding aiport construction projects. Phil Gordon has been the mayor of Phoenix since 2004. He is of Lithuanian Jewish heritage. He staunchly opposed Arizona’s immigration law SB1070 and had verbal disputes with Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Jews in general are strong advocates for diversity. It appears Phil Gordon gave his approval for the installation of the Muslim foot baths at Phoenix Sky Harbor.