All mosques are supposed to have an indicator pointing at the Kaaba in Mecca — the devout are supposed to aim their prayers in that direction (which is silly to begin with, but never mind). With all the high rises going up in Mecca, though, people were able to look down and notice that hey, the mosques aren’t aimed right, maybe all of their prayers have been missing the target!
A spokesman has said something very sensible, though, something that I think certain other religious sects might consider.
Tawfik al-Sudairy, Islamic affairs ministry deputy secretary, downplayed the problem in remarks quoted by the pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat.
“There are no major errors but corrections have been made for some old mosques, thanks to modern techniques,” he said.
“In any case, it does not affect the prayers.”
This is something believers and atheists can accept. The believer, because the nit-picky details of the ritual shouldn’t matter that much, if you really believe in a wise and compassionate all-powerful being. The atheist, because yeah, the prayers are ineffectual in the first place.
Now we just need to hope that certain Muslims acquire a similar attitude towards cartoons and literature. If gods are so powerful, they should be able to take a little mockery and criticism; if they’re nonexistent, there is no one to file a complaint.