ORLANDO, Fla. — An airport in Florida is set to open a new prayer room to accommodate Muslims using its airlines.
The Islamic “Reflection Room” is expected to open at the Orlando International Airport by September 1, and according to reports, is the result of added flights to Dubai from the location. It is part of a $250,000 building project that includes a lounge and electronic charging stations.
“Orlando is truly becoming a global community, and we want to be able to accommodate and provide high-quality amenities for all our passengers,” Director Phil Brown told the Orlando Sentinel.
In the context of literally daily news from the mid-East, it is difficult to picture Muslim faithful tolerating the presence of Jewish and Christian worshippers in a “Muslim prayer space.” In Muslim countries women aren’t even allowed to pray in the same space - how then are Christian women to be permitted? I am not against a prayer / meditation space, just puzzled at its implementation.
I see your point though, as a Christian, not having a special place for me to pray has never stopped me from praying. I even pray in my seat during the flight. After I bless myself, the passengers to either side of me tend to stay on their side of the armrest! LOL! Blessings all around.
I like the idea of having a prayer room for folks at the airport,
While the room is being constructed for Muslim needs, it will also be open to those of other religions.
“This is the place where we welcome people of all faiths,” Roman Catholic priest and airport Chaplain Robert Susann, who leads services at the airport chapel, said. “I’m here to bring the presence of God to them.”*
This happened at the hair salon that I go too - not a prayer room - but a female customer asked for her hair to be done in a private area so no men would see her hair…so they accommodated her in the break room. But what happens when all her friends want their hair done privately in the break room also? Next you have a law suit on your hands or accommodate these women and watch your hair business grow. :shrug::shrug:
This room is probably not intended for worship services, but as a place for Muslim to do their daily prayers that they do at specific times during the day. The Muslims I’ve encountered will do these wherever they have to, regardless of who else is present. I’ve had Muslim students in the past that do them in an alcove in the library.
Seems like a waste of money, or at least a violation of common sense to put a specific religious label on it. The only time I have gone into an airport prayer room, the had pews, kneelers and pray rugs. The had various religious symbolism, none o which seemed offensive to anyone and most everything was accommodated. Just build a chapel, prayer room, quiet room, or any other generic name.
Apparently they have many passengers who are Muslim so they want to serve them better. I guess that is their perogative. I would not feel comfortable praying in their unless there was a crucix and a painting or statue of Mary. I doubt if Jews would feel comfortable praying there. I am not sure about Buddhists or Wiccans or Scientologists or Jehovah’s Witnesses or 7th Day Adventists or Mormons.
The article the OP posted was from the Christian Post, which I couldn’t open (the link told me the story was taken down) but I looked up dozens of other articles on the net on the topic, which had much more information.
The headline and angle of the Christian Post (from the bit I read) seems a bit off to me, compared to other articles I read.
The other articles report that while the upsurge of Muslim travelers in the airport (because of a recent, dramatic rise in flights to and from Dubai) was one of the initial inspirations to build the “Reflection Room”–to head off people praying on the floor in the middle of the airport or on the floor in the bathrooms–…the room was constructed for ALL faiths.
Why wouldn’t you share space with someone of another faith?
In hospitals, this is what the “spiritual and religious care” rooms are–for all faiths to go to and have a quiet moment of spirituality and prayer.
This room at the airport sounds the same–but better equipped.
I think the kind of prayer you are doing–that can be done anywhere quietly, from a sitting position–is easier to do discreetly and would not be disruptive in an airport or plane…indeed, many people might not even know you are praying!
But for the kind of praying the Muslims do on the ground, in a specific position, and taking up a certain amount of space…it could get dangerous to have hundreds of people per flight every few hours throughout the day in the middle of the floor in a busy airport as people are rushing to their gates.
So I can see why someone thought this up, for sure; they are thinking ahead to prevent problems in that way (one article stated that the airport already would see many theists stretched out on the bathroom floor in prayer).