An update to this story. There is an upside to this bit of dhimmitude, and it isn’t only that I am looking forward to the opening of the Giants Stadium Chapel, which I am sure will be an inspiring place for Christians to pray and meditate during lulls in the action on the field. It is also that the existence of this prayer area takes away any excuse any group of Muslims may have to congregate in restricted areas, as the men who provoked this were doing. One may presume, or at least hope, that such a group gathering in a restricted area, instead of in the Muslim prayer area, in the future will be regarded with the suspicion it deserves.
From AP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority says it will provide a special area for anyone who wants a place to pray while at Giants Stadium or the Continental Airlines Arena — a reaction to Muslim groups’ outcries after several fans who prayed at a New York Giants game were detained and questioned by the FBI in September.
Sohail Mohammed, the lawyer for the Totowa-based American Muslim Union, met Sunday with officials from the sports authority, the FBI and private companies that work at the Meadowlands to educate them about Islam and the cultural and religious practices of Muslims.
Five Muslim men attending the Sept. 19 Giants game against the New Orleans Saints were detained and questioned for about a half hour by the FBI after they were observed praying at the stadium. The men claimed they were singled out because of their faith, but the FBI said the men were flagged by stadium security because they were in a sensitive area near the stadium’s main air intake duct.
Former President George H.W. Bush was on hand that night as part of a fundraising campaign he and former President Bill Clinton were leading for victims of Hurricane Katrina….
George Zoffinger, the sports authority president, said space will be set aside at the stadium and the arena for anyone of any faith who wishes to pray. The exact spots have not yet been designated, he said.
“I think we did this thing exactly right,” Zoffinger said. “We took it seriously. We did not like the connotation that we were profiling. We weren’t.
“With this agreement, we hope we’ve created an atmosphere where anyone can come to our facilities and feel comfortable,” he said….
Mohammed said sports authority staff said they also may extend prayer areas to the Meadowlands Racetrack.
“I told them you won’t get many Muslims using that area because gambling is forbidden in Islam, but I understand there is quite a bit of praying going on among the track patrons while the horses are running,” he joked.