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The University of Georgia has installed foot-washing sinks at the request of Muslim students to use for wudu, the cleansing ritual that Muslims perform before praying formally. To make wudu, Muslims rinse their hands, mouth, face, forearms, head, ears and feet.
You would think that this new sink will reduce the number of awkward encounters for Muslim students making wudu in public restrooms..
An employee of the University of Georgia thinks otherwise.
Aaron Bridges recently published a Facebook post decrying the sinks, which were placed in the newly built Tate Student Center at the request of UGA’s Muslim Student Association. Bridges said that he learned about the sink while working on campus alongside brick masons.
“Apparently this is a cultural tactic Muslims do before they pray they wash there (sic) feet,” Bridges wrote. “I researched it and there (sic) actually putting them up all over America. Keep in mind at Madison County [H]igh [S]chool it was voted to change a [B]ible verse on a monument bc (sic) it could offend non Christian religions. A lot of NCAA schools are getting rid of team Chaplins (sic) in fear of offending someone.”
Bridges also implied that the others would urinate in the sink.
“I have a pretty good feeling that after a few tailgating events this Saturday and word gets out about what they are something tells me they may get urinated on a good bit,” Bridges wrote.
A commenter on the post agreed with the employee’s statement, telling him he “can fix that with a hammer.”
Bridges responded, “I’d like to but then I’d be labeled a racist white man…plus I’d get fired but I may or may not have already pissed in it.”
It is unclear if Bridges has indeed urinated on the wudu station.
The Department of International Student Life at UGA offered support to the MSA after the incident was brought to their attention.
“Together,” the ISL said, “we stand united in our unwavering support of you, our Muslim students, and all of our students, inclusive of their personal stories and identities.”
MSA President Huriyah Malik encouraged anyone concerned about the new sink to ask questions of the MSA, which hopes “to provide knowledge about the meaning of wudu and the importance of the foot wash station through future events.”
Indeed, the sinks are accessible to all students. Their addition ensures a cleaner, more practical way for students to make wudu before praying. However, just as the reflection room is open to all students of faith for prayer and meditation, anyone is welcome to use the sinks properly, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
Read the employee's original post here:
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