NIAMH HORAN THE Royal College of Surgeons has confirmed that it is planning to build new facilities on its premises so that Muslims do not have to face Mecca while sitting on the loo.
The Islamic toilets, which will be situated in the Smurfit Building in Beaumont Hospital, will have the same specifications as Muslim toilets throughout the world.
The toilets are being built in accordance with the Islamic faith to facilitate the sizeable number of Muslims who regularly use the Royal College of Surgeons building.
Speaking about the new plans, a spokesman for the College said: "The wash room facilities proposed for the new building in Beaumont Hospital have been specifically designed in order to accommodate the cultural diversity of all of our students.
"We have received no formal requests. It is just to respect the cultural diversity of our student population."
The proposals for the new toilets are believed to be based on the fact that Muslims have a particular code of practice when relieving themselves.
The code, which is known as Qadaahul Haajah, was established in the times before toilet paper or toilet seats were invented. In many parts of the Muslim world, squat toilets are the norm.
Among the code of practice for using an Islamic toilet is the rule that an individual must relieve themselves as infrequently as possible, as Islamists believe the natural functions of the human body are sinful and unclean.
Muslims are also advised to pray on entering and leaving the toilet, and to enter the toilet with the left foot first and to leave leading on the right. Talking to or greeting others is forbidden while on thetoilet.
Another such rule states that an individual should neither face nor turn their back on Mecca whilst relieving themselves; instead they should be seated at a 90-degree position.
Followers of Islam are also told not to look to the private parts of the body and to direct their eyes modestly towards the floor while relievingthemselves.