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Muslim students push for ritual sinks on campus

News Editor

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Updated: Friday, October 28, 2011 02:10

When Omar Subei would perform wudu, the Islamic cleansing ritual before praying, he often felt uncomfortable when other people would walk into a public bathroom on and see him putting his foot over the sink.

"You have to raise your foot and put it on the sink and as you're taking your foot off the sink, your leg is dripping water," Subei said, a senior majoring in biochemistry.

Wudu involves an individual washing their hands, feet and face before engaging in prayer.

Subei said Muslims felt this was disrespectful to non-Muslims and the watery mess left over on the sinks would leave a bad impression on how non-Muslims saw them.

To solve this, Subei and other Muslims have been looking to install a small sink that would allow them to perform wudu cleanly.

Legislation was passed by Student Government to install the new sinks on the third floor of the Student Union near the Muslim Prayer room Tuesday.

The legislation states that two small sinks with drains at the bottom would be installed in both the men and women's restrooms. It calls for construction during winter break with the sinks completed by spring 2011.

Student Government President Matt Rubin said he was working with Tom Trimble, former director of the Student Union, to install these sinks.

"We noticed that paper towels were always running out and still [are]," Rubin said regarding the bathrooms on the third floor of the Student Union.

An extra dispenser was installed, but Rubin said this still was not accommodating.

"We've been asking so many questions about it and trying to find out what to do. We worked with Tom Trimble last fall to try to find ways to do it but there wasn't enough money," Rubin said.

Subei is not sure how much the project costs, but said he is first trying to get the plan finalized before costs are calculated.

Subei said this is something Muslim students have been wanting for a long time.

Idris Yakabe, a senior majoring in pharmacy, has also been working on getting the sinks installed on campus. He named the wet floors in the restroom as a safety hazard.

"Muslims can feel better about themselves when they make wudu, and they don't have to worry about making a mess," Yakabe said.


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17 comments Log in to Comment

Wed Nov 2 2011 09:19
Whether or not these comments are from members of the UT community, they embarrass the institution. There's a difference between challenging the truth of religious claims, which we should all do, and posting the inflammatory, offensive stuff seen below.
Mon Oct 31 2011 21:25
Pitiful, I think it is perfectly acceptable to criticize any arcane belief system, whether that be Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, or Scientology. So many aspects of said religions are just ridiculous. If you told me you saw a UFO yesterday, I'd think you were an idiot. But if you REALLY REALLY believed you saw it, I guess that'd make me a xenophobe.

Why should UT allow Muslims to receive special treatment simply based on their religion, when their own religion forbids them from showing that same treatment to non Muslim infidels? (The answer, btw, is Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964). As much as I dislike religion, I DO like our Constitution. The problem for UT is that by NOT supplying one of these fountains, they are implicitly denying them it (Shaky ground, but there is buttloads of precedence). The MSA Prayer room is in a tiny niche of the Student Union which most of these posters couldn't find if I drew a map for them, so I don't understand how they're so inconvenienced by it. It might cost them one tenth of one cent in their tuition.

Mon Oct 31 2011 12:29
The xenophobia of Islam in the comment section of this article is shameful.
Mon Oct 31 2011 08:43
"Muslim student Ishmael Mohammed Mohammed Al Asi has also requested the construction of an armory. Student Government President Matt Rubin said he was working with Tom Trimble, former director of the Student Union, to install the armory."

anyone care to remind me about 9/11?

Mon Oct 31 2011 01:50
Jesus raised from the dead, making him a zombie. it's halloween. we should be more worried about that than silly sinks.
Mon Oct 31 2011 01:50
I bet people start pee'ing in the sinks, thinking their urinals.
Mon Oct 31 2011 01:48
How many people did Jesus behead? Last time i checked mohammed was just a warlord, no different then Xerxes (gold nosering an all)
Fri Oct 28 2011 14:02
When I go wudu I just use toilet paper.
Fri Oct 28 2011 12:56
If they only need to do this for 1/5 prayer sessions, why does it need to be done while on campus?
Fri Oct 28 2011 08:07
Followers of sadistic, lying pedophiles? I think you're confused about which religion we're discussing. These are Muslims.
Thu Oct 27 2011 22:12
"Muslims can feel better about themselves when they make wudu ..."

Yes, followers of a sadistic, murdering, raping, thieving, lying, illiterate, psychopathic, schizophrenic pedophile that demands complete submission and supremacy to others must have to clean themselves all the time to feel better about themselves. I can understand that. It is shameful to be a muslim.

Thu Oct 27 2011 21:13
"if muslims want sinks what if 5 other religions need something." You realize that the I-House is the only dining hall that serves meat during Lent, right? At least in terms as an entree, they've still got cold cuts and whatnot. But every other dining hall has fish on Fridays and no other meaty option. And all students get off school for Easter and Christmas, and no one complains, but Muslim and Jewish students have to give their professors a heads up before they miss for Ramadan or Rosh Hashanah. You commenters act like Muslims are impinging on your rights or something by asking for some small gesture from the University.

And first commenter, all religion involves some form of indoctrination, it's not exactly something you're born with. Or, if you've read Sam Harris' theory of morality, perhaps it is.

Thu Oct 27 2011 19:40
I think their has to be a line drawn somewhere..if muslims want sinks what if 5 other religions need something..we cant have everything made special
Abdul Lipshitz
Thu Oct 27 2011 17:39
Why don't the Muslim students pay for this as a gesture of interfaith good will? If a non Muslim steps in dog poo will they be allowed to perform their version of woodoo at these foot baths? Why not a garden hose and a bar of Irish Spring at an outside spigot?
Thu Oct 27 2011 17:22
Next thing you know, they will be demanding that non-muslims be excluded from those bathrooms
Sura Khuder
Thu Oct 27 2011 17:05
The sentence that reads "They must perform the ritual one of the five times they pray during the day" originally said something along the lines of "They must perform this ritual before each one of the five required daily prayers ." The sentence's meaning was lost through editing and will be corrected shortly.

Sura Khuder
IC News Editor

Thu Oct 27 2011 06:19
This is crazy. Check out Most muslims and non-muslims are not aware of this mind-cult which originated in the 7th century. Those who are in it (muslims) don't know it or realize it. Those who escape from it (ex-muslims) hate it. Everybody read up on it.

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