London's Olympic Park toilets to turn away from Mecca out of respect for Islamic law

The Islamic religion prohibits Muslims from facing the Kiblah - the direction of prayer - when they visit the lavatory.

Toilet facilities are being built at London's Olympic Park so Muslims will not have to face Mecca while sitting on the loo

The Olympic Delivery Authority has said it wants to produce an ideal venue for people of all cultures, faiths, ages and abilities for the 2012 Games and beyond.

An ODA spokeswoman confirmed that a 'percentage of general toilets would not face Mecca' out of sensitivity.She could not say how many toilets would turn away from the East.

Also as part of the design, special washing facilities will be linked to Islamic prayer rooms.It is not the first time toilets have changed direction to accommodate Muslims.Last year, thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money was used to ensure toilets at Brixton prison in London did not offend Islamic law.

Muslim prisoners complained of having to sit sideways on toilets so as to not break code.Faith leaders in the government pressured officials to approve turning the toilets 90 degrees.But ODA chairman John Armitt said it was about making the London Olympic venue the 'most accessible and inclusive public park' for future generations.
Other design measures earmarked for the park include:
Gentle slopes into the venue with wider pathways with smooth surfaces and seating and resting places at regular intervals for wheelchair users;


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