Prayer carpet in the quiet room of Utrecht city hall is not being brushed aside: ‘Mini mosque’ | Inland

Because according to registrar Merel van Hall it was ‘a lot of functions in one’, pumping women were already asked to move. The former workplace of the Court of Auditors is almost wall-to-wall occupied by prayer carpet.

“A year after my request, we finally have our own contemplation room where prayers can be performed. Carpet was my choice, beautiful right?” party leader Mahmut Sungur tweeted. By throwing the bat in the henhouse, the discussion no longer rages solely in the day-to-day management of the presidium.

“The quiet room must be a quiet room. There are standards for that,” says VVD party leader Marijn de Pagter. He doesn’t like thinking about taking neutral space. Praying is possible as far as the VVD member is concerned, but not exclusively for one faith. D66 party chairman Maarten Koning agrees, but does not want to say much more about it.

The municipality of Utrecht pulled out all the stops. “All floor coverings are paid for by the municipality because it is a space for general use,” said spokesman for alderman Rachel Streefland (Personnel and Organization). According to the spokesperson, the design of the contemplation room matches the needs of the people who use it. “You see the reflection of the city in it.”

‘Mary against the wall’

An attempt by the PVV to introduce a statue of Mary and a bowl for holy water would not be successful. “The last time I looked, Maria was standing with her head to the wall and those prayer rugs were pontifically in the middle of the room,” says Cees Bos, leader of Stadsbelang.

Sungur (Think) is not aware of any harm. “We have asked in the past to pray somewhere and had to do it in the pumping room. Sometimes that clashed in terms of time. The women didn’t want that either.” According to him, the statue of Mary was placed out of aversion to Islam, not out of religious conviction, and he regrets that.

After the redistribution of the rooms, the room became available. Sungur: “As far as we are concerned, the space is multifunctional. There is also room for other faiths.” Was a loose carpet not an option? “Yes, you can also pray at home. But this was the need.”

The PVV is particularly indignant, which has to tolerate the ‘mini-mosque’ right next to its fraction room, and does not have to search long for the term ‘Islamization’. Party chairman David Bosch used to like to rest in the special FC Utrecht dug out chair of former mayor Jan van Zanen, but that is now gone. “Should I take off my shoes and socks and lie on the floor?”

Precisely the ChristenUnie leader shows tolerance itself. “Needs are different,” says party chairman Rik de Graaf. He experiences the discussions with Sungur and Bosch in the daily management of the presidency, also on this subject, as ‘constructive’.