Accommodating Islamic practices to local circumstances

Numerous controversies fester over the demands of many Muslims that the societies to which they emigrate accommodate their religious practices with special consideration. Just yesterday, AT covered the debate in Quebec over special accommodation for Muslims, and the plan in Indianapolis to have special purpose foot baths for cab drivers, which involves spending public money for special purpose facilities designed to allow religious observation for one particular group. Airport cabbies and their foot baths are also at issue in Chicago, where Muslim taxi drivers want to be exempt from parking tickets while they bathe their feet and obstruct an airport road.

The debate always seems to be couched in demands that host societies do the accommodating, and that customary (not scriptural) practices like the burka be fully and freely practiced, even if it means that drivers licenses or other photo ID become useless.

But it turns out that Islamic authorities can be rather flexible when it suits their goals. This AFP dispatch in Malaysia comes to our attention via Ummah News Links.
Malaysian religious authorities are hopeful that the country's first astronaut will also become the first Muslim to fast in space when he blasts off next month during Ramadan. [....]

Anan C. Mohd, from Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development, said the astronaut could choose to fast in space or replace his fasting days when he returns to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. [emphasis added]
Note: couldn't this logic also apply to foot washing, accommodating it to the need to work as a cab driver, etc.?
Much thought has gone into how to reconcile Islam with a space mission, including a conference here last year where muftis and scientists pondered how to pray in space in the face of difficulties locating Mecca and holding the prayer position in a zero-gravity environment.

Anan said that the National Fatwa Committee had given some leeway to the astronaut to perform his religious obligations in space.

"As certain rituals might be difficult due to microgravity, the astronaut can perform them in other ways like reciting them in his heart, as long as the intention is pure," he told the Star. [emphasis added]
I applaud the Fatwa Council [words I never suspected I would write]. Islam needs to accommodate itself to the needs of the 21st Century, and the authorities are taking a stance which should be applied to many other circumstances.

Now that we know it can be done, let Muslim immigrants take the lesson and accommodate to the societies which have graciously allowed them to immigrate and tolerate their religion with freedoms few Islamic societies grant to those they call "infidels."
Numerous controversies fester over the demands of many Muslims that the societies to which they emigrate accommodate their religious practices with special consideration. Just yesterday, AT covered the debate in Quebec over special accommodation for Muslims, and the plan in Indianapolis to have special purpose foot baths for cab drivers, which involves spending public money for special purpose facilities designed to allow religious observation for one particular group. Airport cabbies and their foot baths are also at issue in Chicago, where Muslim taxi drivers want to be exempt from parking tickets while they bathe their feet and obstruct an airport road.

The debate always seems to be couched in demands that host societies do the accommodating, and that customary (not scriptural) practices like the burka be fully and freely practiced, even if it means that drivers licenses or other photo ID become useless.

But it turns out that Islamic authorities can be rather flexible when it suits their goals. This AFP dispatch in Malaysia comes to our attention via Ummah News Links.
Malaysian religious authorities are hopeful that the country's first astronaut will also become the first Muslim to fast in space when he blasts off next month during Ramadan. [....]

Anan C. Mohd, from Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development, said the astronaut could choose to fast in space or replace his fasting days when he returns to Earth aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. [emphasis added]
Note: couldn't this logic also apply to foot washing, accommodating it to the need to work as a cab driver, etc.?
Much thought has gone into how to reconcile Islam with a space mission, including a conference here last year where muftis and scientists pondered how to pray in space in the face of difficulties locating Mecca and holding the prayer position in a zero-gravity environment.

Anan said that the National Fatwa Committee had given some leeway to the astronaut to perform his religious obligations in space.

"As certain rituals might be difficult due to microgravity, the astronaut can perform them in other ways like reciting them in his heart, as long as the intention is pure," he told the Star. [emphasis added]
I applaud the Fatwa Council [words I never suspected I would write]. Islam needs to accommodate itself to the needs of the 21st Century, and the authorities are taking a stance which should be applied to many other circumstances.

Now that we know it can be done, let Muslim immigrants take the lesson and accommodate to the societies which have graciously allowed them to immigrate and tolerate their religion with freedoms few Islamic societies grant to those they call "infidels."