On the January 30 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh responded to a story reported by the British tabloid The Sun, and repeated on the Fox News website, about a British prison changing the direction of its toilets to accommodate religious Muslim inmates who are forbidden to face or turn their backs on their direction of prayer while using the bathroom. Limbaugh asked: "What do they do on an airplane? Go to the cockpit and say, 'I got some box cutters, and if you don't turn this airplane 45 degrees for the next two minutes, I'm going to hijack you'?"
According to Talkers Magazine , The Rush Limbaugh Show reaches more than 13.5 million listeners each week, the largest talk radio audience in the nation.
From the January 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
LIMBAUGH: Well, you know, God let it happen in the first place here. I mean, you're going to -- you're going to get into a big, tangled-up mess here if you start going down that road. But speaking of the "throne," you will not believe what I am holding here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers. You will not believe this. It is from the UK. Toilets in one London prison are being changed in the direction in which they point to accommodate Muslim inmates who cannot use the toilets while facing Mecca. Government officials acknowledged using tax dollars for the changes to the facilities but maintain that moving the toilets was part of an ongoing refurbishment, according to an article in the -- in The Sun newspaper. Islamic code prohibits Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the direction of prayer when they use the bathroom. Muslim practitioners complained of having to sit sideways on toilets so as not to break the religious code. Well, apparently, the -- they didn't just keep letting them sit sideways, because that is not how the toilet is designed to be used.
My -- my question is -- I just have a lot of questions here. Of all places, a prison? We're going to reorient the direction of a toilet because Islamic code prohibits Muslims from facing or turning their backs on the direction of prayer when they use the bathroom? Meaning, I guess, they have to turn -- they -- they can't turn their back or face Mecca when they use the bathroom. What do they do on an airplane? Go to the cockpit and say, "I got some box cutters, and if you don't turn this airplane 45 degrees for the next two minutes I'm going to hijack you"?
The Sun reported that "after pressure from faith leaders the Home Office has agreed to turn the existing toilets 90 degrees [not 45 as Limbaugh suggested] at HMP Brixton in London."