By BI: An anonymous Australian building worker has sparked outrage by placing a sign on the men’s toilet of a Sydney city office block in an attempt to ban Muslims from washing their feet in the sink before their daily prayers. The sign, which has a cartoon of a man with one of his feet in a sink and surrounded by a circle with a slash through it, was placed on the door of the men’s toilet of an office block on Pitt Street, in Sydney’s business district.
UK Daily Mail The sign is believed to have gone up on Wednesday, just days after a building worker queried one of the shop workers who use the toilet.
Mohammad Faisal (photos below), a business student who works 20 hours a week in the convenience store, told Daily Mail Australia that Dhuhr and Asr – two of the five daily prayers required by his religion – fall during his 10am to 4pm shift at the shop.
The 26-year-old Pakistan native, who is studying in Australia to fulfill his late mother’s dream, said earlier this week he went as usual to the first floor men’s room to do his pre-prayer ablutions prior to Dhuhr, the prayer just before midday which currently falls at 11.52am.
He said that, as was the custom, he washed his hands, his mouth, his head and his neck, as well as his arms, and then placed his feet one at a time into one of the men’s rooms’ two sinks.
‘I have done it when you bring water from the sink down to the ground to wash your feet, but it makes too much of a mess, it is not clean and it makes the floor slippery and dangerous,’ he said.
He was washing his feet when a man he didn’t know entered the men’s room and asked him what he was doing with his foot in the sink. ‘He said “what are you doing” and said “I just washed my feet” and he said “okay” and left.
‘Then yesterday this sign went up. I don’t know, maybe he put it up because he didn’t like it. I don’t like to blame anyone. At first when I saw the sign I smiled, but then I thought why did he put up this sign, is it meant to mean we are not to do our ablution. ‘But I must do ablution or I cannot pray. It’s about being respectful to my religion.’
Mohammad’s boss, contacted his boss who alerted Muslim community advocate Zaky Mallah, outraged at the apparent attempt allegedly by the one of the building’s workers to prevent working Muslims from using the sink for their ablutions.
‘This country has freedom of speech but that cartoon is racist and it is taking freedom of expression too far,’ Mr Mallah said. ‘When was it a crime to wash up in a men’s room for Muslim prayers? It happens everywhere around the world.
Paul Culbi from Jamesons, the strata managers of the building, said the cartoon was ‘racist, defamatory and a breach of owner corporation guidelines’. ‘I would like to say that this racist item is against guidelines and I will be making a report to the owners,’ he said. ‘Apart from being a breach of guidelines to place anything up like that without owners’ permission, it is racist.