Imagine how convenient it would have been for Muhammad Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari and the rest of them on 9/11 if they had had access to a place like this. They would have had a a nice Muslims-only room where they could gather and arrange their boxcutters and other necessary materials in peace, go over details of strategy — and get in their final prayers. Now that would have been thoughtful airport service. By Patrick Condon for AP, with thanks to JS:
Airport officials said Friday they will consider setting aside a private area for prayer and meditation at the request of imams concerned about the removal of six Muslim clerics from a US Airways flight last week.
Steve Wareham, director of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, said other airports have “meditation rooms” used for prayers or by passengers who simply need quiet time.
A group of Somali clerics met with airport officials Friday and said they would attract less attention if they had a private area for prayer. Devout Muslims pray five times daily, facing the holy city of Mecca.
“When we pray, we don’t want a problem. We don’t want what happened last week,” said Abdulrehman Hersi, an imam at Darul-Quba mosque in Minneapolis, referring to six clerics who were barred from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis after drawing the concern of some passengers.
Airports in Nashville, Tenn.; Columbus, Ohio; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., all advertise meditation rooms. Fort Lauderdale’s is billed as “For travelers seeking a quiet time.” All note they are nonsectarian.