PANIC at Tennessee Legislature when lawmakers thought a new mop sink was a Muslim footbath

The Tennessee legislature dodged a potential firestorm today when lawmakers were able to come together and reassure one another that a possible Muslim foot bath was, in fact, just a mop sink.


Gawker  Ever since the state Capitol building recently unveiled a small bundle of renovations, there have been angry grumblings. People were worried that one of the building’s updates—a sink—may be an attempt to offer a modicum of assistance to observant Muslims visiting the Capitol, and would be available to those who want to wash their feet before praying. The sink is pictured above, and indeed it is on the floor, the perfect level for a Muslim looking to wash his feet. Thankfully, however, everyone angry that the state of Tennessee might be being nice to Muslims relaxed today when state officials clarified that the sink was nothing but a place for custodians to wash filthy mops. (The photos below are actual Muslim footbaths, which resemble the mop sink above)


In Tennessee, legislative staffers and building managers have sought to reassure a few concerned lawmakers that recent state Capitol renovations didn’t install special facilities for Muslims to wash their feet before praying. State officials say a new sink is instead meant to make it easier for custodial staff to fill buckets and clean mops.


Senate Clerk Russell Humphrey said he had been approached by two lawmakers to inquire about a new basin, which replaced a utility sink that had been mounted higher on the wall.