02 May 2006

Facing Mecca?

J of Justify This opened my eyes on a grave theological problem that may cause a big engineering issue in UK jails as soon as this post is published.

It appears that the direction of the toilet seats in a British nick was causing problems to some Muslim inmates.

The Islamic religion prohibits Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the Kiblah (the direction of prayer)— when they visit the lav. Muslim lags claimed they have had to sit sideways on prison WCs. But after pressure from faith leaders the Home Office has agreed to turn the existing toilets 90 degrees at HMP Brixton in London.

That knee-jerk decision of the Home Office is going to really stir the hornet's nest. Somebody needs to update the decision makers there that there is a sect of Jews (I am one of them) that just has to be seated with their backs to the East. Lack of the appropriate seating arrangement shall definitely cause constipation, depression and a possibility of multiple homicide inside the prison walls.

A revolving platform for each toilet is the only conceivable and acceptable solution, and I do not believe that the country that succeeded to get a rover to Mars (well, kind of) will have too much trouble engineering and implementing it.

And the sooner the better.