In order to accommodate passengers who are likely to purchase tickets for the new Emirates Airlines non-stop flights from Orlando to Dubai, the Orlando International Airport will be opening a “Reflection Room” in a few weeks. With Muslims in mind, the $250,000 space will give people the ability to wash themselves before praying, a place to put their shoes if they must take them off, and directional signs so they can make sure they’re facing Mecca.
To be clear, anyone can use this space. Even atheists who just want some quiet space before a flight. But since the accommodations are directed at Muslims, some conservative Christians are furious.
Here’s John S. Roberts writing for Young Conservatives:
Yeah, that’s sure to make a Judeo-Christian nation feel more comfortable after seeing all the Islamic related tragedies that have taken place on our soil the past 15 years.
This is merely a political correctness stunt.
Are ticket prices going to increase for everyone so a super small percentage of people will be allowed to enter this praying room?
1) It’s not about being politically correct. It’s a business decision. If Muslims have access to this room, they’re more likely to want to fly out of this airport, and more likely to tell their family and friends about it.2) It’s just factually untrue that a “super small percentage of people” will have access to this room. 100% of people in the International terminal will have access to the room.
The misinformation is everywhere:
“Orlando is pathetic. Caving to Muslims and Sharia law. I’ll find another airport to fly into,” read one comment left on the airport’s Facebook page in response to a statement about the new reflection room. Another user wrote, “Adding insult to stupidity is the fact the taxpayers are footing the bill.”
According to airport officials, the Orlando International Airport is funded 30 percent by the airlines and 70 percent by user fees generated by restaurants, hotels and commercial leases at the facility.
“We do use passenger facility charges that are built into ticket fees, as virtually all airports do. But there are no tax dollars provided at all for the operation of the airport,” Fennell said.
Bear in mind that most airports have chapels designed for Christians but no one ever makes a fuss about those. The complaints only seem to be coming from people not used to seeing their faith take a backseat to anyone else’s.
The room is fine. I’m an atheist and I’m saying the room is fine. It’s just a business decision to make a lot of passengers feel more comfortable before a long flight. That makes plenty of sense.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)