SWEDEN. It has become known this week that IKEA in the city Linköping have added a new usage for the “family room” where you can breast feed and change diapers. Now you can also pray there and it’s for all religions.
It’s so absurd that I thought it was a joke so I had to wait for some days before I wrote about it. But IKEA have now verified that they indeed have a room for prayer as they want to be open and inclusive. And they emphazise that the room is for all religions forgetting that only Muslims can’t wait to pray until they come home. And ortodox Jews off course, but they are fractional and it’s not politically correct to cater to them.
It’s just madness with special rooms for prayer outside of religious buildings in a country that prides themself on being secular. Also, how easy will it be to rest, breastfeed or change diapers (with a screaming baby and perhaps a toddler running around like a maniac) if the room is crowded with praying people on the floor? I would feel very stressed and uncomfortable.
I wonder what the real reason is why they have done this change. Have it been a suggestion from a person or a group? Or have they had problems with Catholics swinging rosaries between the isles of household utensils or Buddhists meditating in the baskets of blankets? Or have Muslims been throwing themselves repeatedly on rugs like Vindum? Are IKEA bending backwards to prevent criticism on beforehand or is this a PR-coup to get more customers?
Either way, prayer have no place in public life. Not in schools, not in workplaces and not in stores. If you have to or feel like praying it’s a personal activity, someting you choose, and you can’t drag others into that and burden them. And we must remember that public prayer is prohobited in several Muslim countries as it’s used as a way to show power. So it’s much more to this than just talking to God.