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Take advantage of the freedoms until the time when you can destroy them comes

Reader comment on item: Disquiet about Philadelphia Airport's "Quiet Room"

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Apr 12, 2022 at 11:53

Dear Dr. Pipes: Your article about the quiet room at PHL (Philadelphia International Airport), reminded me of Recep Erdogan who famously said, "Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off."

There is no reason to believe that airports should provide quiet rooms to passengers let alone prayer rooms.
Our public resources should be spent on our infrastructure growth and prosperity and we should not require governments to spend resources on our avoidable needs. Quiet meditations are always welcome for all humans even in shared spaces but religion-specific prayers in public spaces do not make sense. The reason is very simple: since people of different religions pray differently, it is more courteous to keep the prayers private. But, we all have been inconvenienced by the sounds of azans and by the traffic jams due to Islamic Friday prayers and we can safely assume that Muslims do not worry about inconveniencing others.

My favorite method of praying is to pray with my eyes closed wherever and whenever I get reminded of God and I think Muslims should also learn to do the same. This method is called Meditation and Jews/Christians/Buddhists/Hindu/Jewish people have all accepted it as a sufficiently common and sufficiently different practice. Luckily this method needs no disruptive loudspeakers or traffic jams.

But, the Islamic pattern continues. If/when Philadelphia becomes 98% Muslim, there will be no other religion to worry about. There will just be mosques facing Mecca. There may be bomb blasts breaking the silence and the streetcar called democracy will be abandoned. (Incidentally, I just read about Prophet Jonas's tomb that was converted to a mosque by the kindest Sultan of all (Temarlane) and was finally destroyed by ISIL. So the memory is fresh.)

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