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John McCartney and Herald staff | jmccartney@heraldnet.com
Published: Monday, March 25, 2013, 4:33 p.m.

Is Tenn. Capitol sink for Muslim feet washing? No

  • A new utility sink has been installed installed in the men's restroom outside the House chamber in the state Capitol in Nashville, Legislative staffer...

    Erik Schelzig / Associated Press

    A new utility sink has been installed installed in the men's restroom outside the House chamber in the state Capitol in Nashville, Legislative staffers and building administrators have sought to reassure some concerned lawmakers that the new sink was not installed as a special facility to support Muslim prayer rituals, but rather to make it easier for custodial staff to fill buckets and clean mops.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sometimes a mop sink is just a mop sink.

In Tennessee, legislative staffers and building managers have sought to reassure a few concerned lawmakers that recent state Capitol renovations didn't install special facilities for Muslims to wash their feet before praying. State officials say a new sink is instead meant to make it easier for custodial staff to fill buckets and clean mops.

Senate Clerk Russell Humphrey said he had been approached by two lawmakers to inquire about a new basin, which replaced a utility sink that had been mounted higher on the wall.

State Sen. Bill Ketron said he had asked about the change after being approached about it by a fellow Republican, Rep. Judd Matheny. Ketron said the answer dispelled any potential concerns, while Matheny said he couldn't recall raising questions.
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