Posted on June 10, 2013

Airport’s Garage Now Muslim House of Worship

Matier and Ross, SF Gate, June 9, 2013

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?

Yakel says the costs were nominal, with the work done by in-house plumbers.