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That Awkward Moment: Muslims Mistake Synagogue for Mosque in Israeli Airport

© AP Photo / Matt RourkeA Muslim prays
A Muslim prays - Sputnik International
A group of Turkish tourists mistakenly knelt for a prayer in a synagogue in Tel Aviv and used Jewish religious shawls as Muslim prayer mats.

The incident occurred at one of two synagogues at Ben Gurion Airport in the Israeli capital, the Times of Israel newspaper reported on Tuesday.

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The situation became even more awkward when some Jewish worshipers turned up for their own prayers and weren't sure whether they were in a synagogue or a mosque. It transpires that they had previously asked for directions to the synagogue from a random Israeli man at the airport, but noticing the Turks praying there the Jewish worshipers were dumbfounded.

When they returned to the man and explained that he'd made a mistake and had directed them to the mosque and not the synagogue, the confusion spread further. It turns out that the airport does not provide separate prayer facilities for religions other than Judaism.

Pretty soon the Muslims realized they were not in a mosque and the prayer rugs they used were actually tallitot — Jewish prayer shawls. Everyone agreed it was an innocent mistake and the Turks immediately apologized, folded the shawls and explained that they were simply looking for a place to pray.

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