London, September 25 : A body responsible for ensuring venues for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London is getting public conveniences at the Olympic Park specially designed so that Muslims will not have to face Mecca while in the toilet. The Olympic Delivery Authority says that its aim is to make an ideal venue for people of all cultures, faiths, ages and abilities.
A spokesman for the agency has revealed that a "percentage of general toilets would not face Mecca" during the 2012 games.
The decision attains significance as the Islamic religion prohibits Muslims from facing the Kiblah, the direction of prayer, when they visit the lavatory.
The ODA's Inclusive Design Strategy also aims at making the venue the most accessible park in London for disabled people.
"London 2012 is aiming to go further than any previous host city to ensure that both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are accessible for everyone," the Telegraph quoted Dame Tanni Grey-Thomson, the Paralympian and vice-chairman of the organising committee's Sports Advisory Group, as saying.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said that it was "clear that accessibility must continue to be at the core of our work".
"I welcome the ODA's commitment to inclusive design and while I'm determined to provide taxpayer value from the 2012 budget, that commitment will not be compromised and remains a top priority for me as we prepare London to host the 2012 Games," he said.
This is not the first time that an authority has decided change the directions of toilets to accommodate Muslims, for such a project was carried out at Brixton prison in London the previous year after Muslim prisoners complained of having to sit sideways on toilets so as to not break code.