Published on Apr 22, 2012 by SDAMatt2a
We’ll also be equal to those areas in Islamic prayer rooms, following the AFL’s decision last week to install such rooms at all AFL venues. “It’s again a demonstration of our inclusiveness,” said AFL boss Andrew Demetriou, who announced the move in response to calls from Richmond player and observant Muslim Bachar Houli (pictured).
“Inclusive” seems a curious description. The AFL is actually providing an exclusive service to followers of a minority faith, although that’s not how Demetriou spins it. He says the rooms will be available for all denominations, which must be a relief to Presbyterians who’ve been missing out for more than 100 years on game-time worship opportunities.According to Houli, Islamic fans are fed-up with the lack of worship sites when they go to the football. “I speak for the Muslim community,” Houli told SBS. “I get complaints (that) there’s nowhere to pray other than the carpark. It can be quite disturbing (to pray) with people walking through to the game.”
Try being a smoker, pal. As a tobacco worshipper, I’m forced outside all the time. No nice rooms for us Benson & Hedgians. Judging by online reaction, fans seemed more than slightly dismissive of the AFL’s latest pandering, but Muslims, as you’d expect, were delighted. “This is not extremist,” explained Khadija Gbla, South Australia’s young person of the year, on ABC radio. “This is what is going to make us feel like Aussies.”Nothing makes someone feel more like an Aussie than going to the footy. And praying there. It’s a wonder we’ve managed to build a national identity at all without the help of these transformative rooms.
Of course, critics of the initiative were widely denounced last week as narrow-minded bigots. This was led by people who just one day before the announcement had never in their lives considered whether AFL grounds even needed prayer rooms.
Once the idea emerged, however, any opposition was evidence of moral failure. Oh, well. Further from Houli, who in addition to being a Richmond player is also a one-day-per-week multiculturalism ambassador with the AFL: “The main thing is we’ve got what we want, and you can’t change that.” True, but people can always change what they spend their money on every weekend. Right now, netball is looking pretty good.
No aspect of life seems to be immune from stealth jihad.
We have halal food, we have segregated council events, we have all-Muslim schools, we have “interfaith events” – read da’wah, we have FGM, we have polygamy, we have social welfare rorting…I could go on but you get the picture.
Now they want to Islamize one of the greatest Aussie pastimes – Australian Rules Football! Prayer rooms if you please. I say watch the game on television if this doesn’t suit.
It amuses me to think that the season final – which I guess is equivalent to the US Super Bowl – has occasionally conflicted with Jewish high holidays but not a word from the Jewish community.
I can’t help thinking of the insults Tim Tebow has had to endure in the US for expressing his Christianity!
And it should be noted that some in the Jewish community have not only financially supported teams big time, but have supported the game for decades. No other religious groups have ever made such demands!
Also note that Aussie Rules Football (AFL is the governing body) is played in many venues, and also in a venue that is now called Etihad Stadium. It was once called the Telstra dome.
Our biggest and best known international sporting event, the Melbourne Cup, is now called “The Emirates Melbourne Cup”!
I can’t imagine what is going to be next!
Perhaps the Australian Open Tennis event, held in the Rod Laver Arena, will get a makeover too? Give them time…
As John McEnroe would say: You can’t be serious!!!
EX-HAWTHORN president and former premier Jeff Kennett has lashed out at the AFL for ruling that all grounds must install prayer rooms.
It comes after Richmond’s Bachar Houli said the requirement for Muslims to pray five times a day was stopping many from attending AFL games.
Houli said many were forced to pray in carparks or stairwells at AFL grounds.
But Mr Kennett labelled the AFL’s mandate “ridiculous”.
“To put prayer rooms into sporting venues is not part of the Australian lexicon. I think it is an over-reaction,” he said on 3AW .
“It’s not practical, it’s stupid, it’s political correctness gone mad.”
He said the move would also ruin the culture of football and create unnecessary change.
“In the old days when you went to a football ground there were very few stands, there was mud on the ground that was real football,” he said.
Houli, a devout Muslim who works for the AFL one day a week as a multicultural ambassador, asked league chief Andrew Demetriou to provide prayer rooms at all grounds.
Prayer rooms, for all denominations, have been recently introduced at Etihad Stadium, the MCG and Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
But the AFL is now insisting on prayer rooms at the SCG and all other interstate venues.
Houli said not many fans knew of the existing prayer rooms and Mr Demetriou said prayer rooms were long overdue.
“It was a request from Bachar in his role as a multicultural ambassador and, to be honest, I was genuinely surprised it wasn’t thought of before,” Mr Demetriou said.
“We will be speaking to all our venues about providing a prayer room, which is, of course, for any denomination. It’s again a demonstration of our inclusiveness.”
Houli, who prays five times a day – including for five minutes before and after games – said a lot of people from the Islamic community weren’t going to the footy because of a lack of prayer rooms.
He said all Muslims would need to pray once while at games women in an enclosed area.
Update: There has been a backlash as many football supporters see it as a religion in itself!
However, nothing will change. More venues will have prayer rooms.
Please click this button to help us to continue our work at 1389 Blog!
1389 Blog needs your help!
The admins, 1389 and CzechRebel, run this blog at our own expense, and we are of severely limited means. We spend upwards of forty hours per week of unpaid time maintaining the blog.
If you find this blog worth reading, please contribute!
Please use the Tip Jar button to donate via PayPal or credit card!