A British Rabbi has launched a complaint after mosque practices were enforced in a supposed multi-faith prayer room at London’s Heathrow airport.
Liverpool university Rabbi Shmuli Brown visited one of Heathrow’s nine interfaith prayer rooms after flying back from the United States to make his morning prayers, reports the theJC.
Speaking to the paper, Rabbi Brown reported during his prayers he was interrupted by “a man in uniform, though I am not sure from which department”. The man proceeded to ask Rabbi Brown to take his shoes off while he was in the multi-faith prayer room — as is the faith in Muslim mosques.
Tweeting about the incident, the Rabbi claimed the staff member who tried to force the rule on him was “Muslim”.
Shocking: I wasn't allowed in the 'Multi Faith' prayer room @HeathrowAirport T5 with my shoes on by a Muslim worker, I had to pray elsewhere
— Shmuli Brown (@UniRabbi) November 10, 2015
The airport’s own Rabbi has since confirmed this was not the first time worshippers have been asked to remove their shoes in the prayer room.
When Rabbi Brown protested to the man in uniform and refused to take his shoes off, the unidentified man in uniform insisted — at which point the Rabbi left, remarking “he gave me an uncomfortable feeling and made me feel very unwelcome”.
The airport initially failed to respond to the Rabbi’s complaint, but promised to take action after he made his complaint public on Twitter.
@UniRabbi Hi Shmuli, we apologise for this experience and are dealing with this right now. Thanks.
— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) November 11, 2015
Despite the apology, Heathrow have still short in Rabbi Brown’s eyes, as he said: “I want Heathrow to issue a public statement and make it very clear that this is a multi-faith room that caters for all religions, and is not just a mosque.
“This was the first time I have used such a prayer room inside an airport, and I won’t be doing so again. I am very much into displaying my Jewish pride, so I won’t be going into a small room and cowering in the corner”.
Heathrow is not the only global transport hub with a prayer area presently under pressure to become more Islamic. Breitbart London reported last month on the demand made by a lesbian Swedish bishop that the Stockholm Seamen’s mission have Christian symbols removed and the direction to Mecca marked.
Bishop Eva Brunne insisted changing the church in this way made the priest in charge no less a danger to the faith, and to refuse would be “stingy towards people of other faiths”.
Although it is a Christian church, the mission is open to worshippers of all faiths, but the director expressed at the time those of other religions should expect no special treatment. Because the church is an independent mission outside of the authority of the Bishop, they have been free to ignore the advice.