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article imageOops: police make Muslims pray in wrong direction by mistake

By kurtrat     Apr 13, 2007 in World
The Segbroek police station in The Hague, trying to help Muslim detainees face Mecca for prayers, painted arrows in cells--accidentally pointing in the wrong direction.
Muslims pray five times a day facing east, in the direction of Mecca. But the arrows in Segbroek pointed west.
"This is a really gigantic, stupid blunder," a police spokesperson told De Telegraaf.
The police station borrowed the idea of putting compass marks on ceilings from an Amsterdam hotel.
The western-pointing arrows were immediately corrected. "It is a mystery for us how this could have possibly happened," the spokesperson said.
All other police cells in The Hague will soon have compass marks as well. The Netherlands has one million Muslims in a population of over 16 million.
Immigration and integration of newcomers have been widely-discussed topics since the murder of populist politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002, who declared that the country could not "absorb any more foreigners."
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