Until recently I did not know that Muslims are not allowed to face Mecca (nor turn their back to it) when sitting on the loo. I heard about it last April when the British press reported that Brixton Prison near London is rebuilding toilets so Muslim inmates can defecate in the right direction. First I thought it was a joke. This week, however, the BBC website has a story on a housing estate in North England. The homes, with wind turbines and solar panels on the roofs, have up to seven bedrooms, kitchens that comply with halal cuisine and “bathrooms that face away from Mecca.”
The estate, developed by Manchester Methodist Housing Association, has been built exclusively for Muslims because, as one of the residents says, “We’re all Muslims here so yes, it is important [to live exclusively among Muslims]. For myself I’m not really too bothered but to a lot of the Muslim people, yes it is important to them and yes it is a very good idea.”
Try to imagine what would happen if a housing company in contemporary Europe were to develop a project exclusively for non-Muslims. Undoubtedly there would be an outcry, while anyone in contemporary Britain who would dare to state (even in a private conversation) that “to a lot of non-Muslims people, yes it is important not to live among Muslims and yes it is a very good idea” might find themselves convicted in court for racism.
Meanwhile, one wonders how easily a non-Muslim British family would find an affordable seven-bedroom home. Perhaps there is no demand for such homes since there hardly are any large non-Muslims families left. Many indigenous Brits no longer procreate. It is sometimes said that the birth rate in Muslim families will drop, too, when immigrant families become affluent and secularized. Manchester Methodist Housing Association, however, clearly does not think this will happen soon, otherwise it would not be building state-of-the-art houses for large families with bathrooms for Islamists.