Rabbi Shmuli Brown, the Chabad rabbi of Liverpool Universities, is asking for a public apology from London’s Heathrow Airport after he was told to take off his shoes while entering its multi-faith prayer room.
According to the Jewish Chronicle, Rabbi Brown flew overnight to Heathrow from New York. When he attempted to perform morning prayers inside the airport mult-faith prayer room before boarding his connecting flight to Manchester, he was approached by a “person in uniform.”
The employee walked up to him and demanded that he remove his shoes, as is customarily done in mosques.
“I replied that it was a multi-faith room, but he just told me again to take my shoes off,” Rabbi Brown told the Chronicle. “He gave me an uncomfortable feeling and made me feel very unwelcome, so I left the room.”
He replayed the incident to the airport’s Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Hershi Vogel, and was told that he was not the first person to experience such an incident.
Rabbi Brown is calling on Heathrow to release a “public statement and make it very clear that this is a multi-faith room that caters for all religions, and is not just a mosque.”
He added that after the experience he will no longer use a prayer room in an airpot.
“I am very much into displaying my Jewish pride, so I won’t be going into a small room and cowering in the corner,” he said.
The airport is reportedly investigating.