There has been a lot of discussion and arguments for and against the facilities of prayers' room. We asked our members what do they think via social media and received sixty-six responses (17 through personal messages). Two responses were from female members.
81% of the respondents do not think it is necessary to have a prayers room at a stadium. 3% do not know while 16% agree with the proposal but their opinions were mainly as to if it is available well and good. Some of the comments are;
xxxxx just can't stop their drama, it wasn't even necessary to build prayer rooms in the stadium but if authorities are doing so just appreciate it and don't forget they are offering you respect to ensure you feel yourself part of this society and make it a better home therefore kindly stop beating your own drums.
Always interesting to see the views of first generation immigrants. I think the later generations tend to be more comfortable voicing their views on such matters! I don't think anyone should be made to feel guilty about wanting things to cater for them, like prayer rooms or halal restaurants etc. We're all part of this country and contribute towards the economy like any other person, Caucasian or not so why are we shy to expect things for our community? Or embarrassed when someone else makes such request?
There is no harm in asking. Unless you ask, you never know the response.
Religion is totally a personal affair. I offer prayer while I drive sometimes and sitting on my car seat. I don't need to create a scene to show others how good Muslim I am.
Our religion permits us to pray alone and at a clean space. It can be a seat inside stadium and sitting. This will alienate us further.
Some of the respondents have also referred to a comment made in the news that;
AFL season usually overlapped with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which involved prayer five times a day. This is misleading. Five times prayer is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a daily ritual not just restricted to the month of Ramadan. It must also be noted that Islam offers flexibility to its followers in performing the rituals.
Similarly to integrate youth into the mainstream requires role models and leaders. A very good example within Pakistani community is Mr. Kashif Bounce from Victoria who has also been referred to in the attached column in Urdu language. He took the initiative to engage Pakistani youth in sports specially AFL and is leading Shaheens Group which within a span of less than five years has achieved great milestones and is recognized widely for its contribution in sports. Another Pakistani member is Yasmin Khan from Queensland who is the AFL diversity ambassador and is doing great work with a nomination to Australian of the Year in 2015. We need to encourage such initiatives and invest resources where they are required urgently.
There is no doubt that we need prayers room at hospitals, education institutions, airports and even detention centres. Our urgent need however in Perth is halal outlets at airport which we have been lobbying for even before the new airport was built and Hon. Margaret Quirk wrote to the Airport authority earlier to convey our concerns and we look forward to be informed that Perth airport does offer halal outlets if it has not been done as yet.