BOLINGBROOK — A state regulatory board indicated it plans to reject a plan to build a Muslim-friendly surgery center in southwest suburban Orland Park.
But several board members said they sympathize with a problem they hadn’t realized exists: the discomfort that followers of Islam — especially modesty-conscious Muslim women — feel about using any of the existing hospitals, urgent-care centers and surgery centers in the Chicago area.And proponents say they have not given up on the project.
Naser Rustom, a Muslim Arab-American, has asked the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board to approve a “certificate of need” for a $5.5 million 11,000-square-foot “ambulatory surgical treatment center” with five operating rooms in the former Plunkett’s Furniture store building adjacent to Orland Square Shopping Center.
Meeting in Bolingbrook on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously, with one member absent, that it “intends to reject” the application.
If you want to import Saudi Arabian standards into Chicago-area hospitals, maybe that's a clue that you're better off staying in Saudi Arabia.The issue will come back to the board for a final decision in June or August.
Update: It turns out that Dr. Naser Rustom is quite the sharia-motivated entrepreneur:
A Chicago doctor who owns a lavish Middle Eastern eatery on West Randolph Street wants to open the first outpatient surgery center in Illinois that he says will follow Islamic law.
Dr. Naser Rustom, who opened Alhambra Palace in 2007, has in mind a venture with a much more religious flavor. He proposes to establish a $5.5 million medical facility in southwest suburban Orland Park that would cater to Muslims, including space for prayer and ritual washing and partitions for enhanced patient privacy.
The proposal reflects how more businesses are looking to tap into the growing population of Arab-Americans and Muslims, offering products ranging from home mortgages to meat that satisfy religious standards. This comes at a time of passionate national debate over the religious rights of business owners, sparked by scores of lawsuits filed against the Obama administration over a regulation that requires employer health care plans to cover contraceptives.
Some interpretations of Shariah, or Islamic law, require strict segregation of the sexes, a practice that Dr. Rustom doesn't intend to follow because, in his view, it likely would violate federal and state laws.
While his plan is aimed at conservative Muslims, his pitch may be driven more by marketing than dogma.
“It's not as if we can open up the books of Islamic law and find a chapter on what makes a Shariah-compliant health care facility,” says Kristen Stilt, a professor at Northwestern University Law School who has studied the development of Islamic law...What bollocks! Dr. Naser, for one, knows exactly what it takes to makes make a medical facility sharia-friendly. And, of course, if you have a problem with that sort of thing, prepare to be described as an "Islamophobe," a word that works wonders when dogmatists want infidels to bend to their will.