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Walter Martindale
09-04-2009, 05:23 AM
Hi folks,

Request #4:

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14) forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun
Sorry Jun. I unnerstand the goal of keeping on topic but for a whole lot of the world 501(c)(3) means diddly, but religion (no matter which) is just superstition, and the restrictions on whether or not a person can practice aikido with a member of the opposite sex is just plain silly and a part of that superstition...
W

Flintstone
09-04-2009, 05:44 AM
Sorry Jun. I unnerstand the goal of keeping on topic but for a whole lot of the world 501(c)(3) means diddly, but religion (no matter which) is just superstition, and the restrictions on whether or not a person can practice aikido with a member of the opposite sex is just plain silly and a part of that superstition...
W
Silly according to you. Not silly at all for about half the world's population. Roughly. Of course you are right, they are right. I am right. Everyone's right according to their own (sub)set of beliefs. You tell me I'm wrong, we have an issue. You tell me my culture's wrong, we have an issue. You tell me your beliefs are better and higher than mine, we have an issue.

Nothing productive can come from this lane.

DonMagee
09-04-2009, 07:15 AM
Hi folks,

Request #4:

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14) forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Well, you can consider the matter closed then. It seems fairly straight forward that many tax-exempt 501(c)(3) orgs discriminate based on sex and sexual preference everyday, why would religious preference be any different? To me, the question shouldn't be can they, because it seems obvious they can. The question to me is should they? So I will bow out.

Kevin Leavitt
09-04-2009, 08:46 AM
Yes, it is a documented fact upheld by the court system that 501(c)(3) organizations are have the ability to "protect" their religious practices and customs. They cannot "discriminate", but they can be have their ideals, beliefs, and practices intact.

That is, the Boy Scouts can be made up of "Boys only". They can exclude Homosexuals, and Atheist.

However, they cannot "Discriminate" against someone because of race, color, or religous preferences. Why? because it is not in their charter and basic doctrine/dogma or what not.

These are private groups that are semi-religous in nature which are protected under the freedom of religion, speech, and expression under the constitution.

You also have the "freedom" to choose not to be apart of such groups and form your own.

Their really is no problems I believe until you start espousing hatred, or projecting harm or bigotry towards other groups. Or you agenda becomes to incite violence, hate, or supression of others...then I believe Ethically, we have a problem and the group should lose their status. I am betting the law backs that up as well.

How do you prove that? Probably difficult in alot of cases.

I think it becomes discrimination if you have not codified your beliefs and you choose to arbitrarily do what you want on an inconsistent basis. I think codification and consistency are what make it NOT discrimination.

Although, you still might personally and ethically believe that the policies are discriminatory such as the BSA not allowing Homosexuals or Atheist. Yup, I agree, but it is still the organizations right to do that according to current law.

Fred Little
09-04-2009, 08:50 AM
Hi folks,

Request #4:

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14) forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Jun,

Is the matter of potential aikido students who have such religious issues at a university club operating in a university facility governed by the full range of state and federal non-discriminatory practices laws relevant?

I certainly hope so, as that would give me an opportunity to share this little nugget: I am considering changing the name of my group to the NJIT Coed Aikido Club. The thought here is that such a name change or the simple inclusion (or for existing groups, a simple insertion) of a phrase regarding "our commitment to coed martial arts training without regard for race, creed, or national origin of participants" in the mission statement of a 501(c)3 organization ought to address the issue quite squarely and fairly.

Best,

FL

Flintstone
09-04-2009, 08:58 AM
I am considering changing the name of my group to the NJIT Coed Aikido Club. The thought here is that such a name change or the simple inclusion (or for existing groups, a simple insertion) of a phrase regarding "our commitment to coed martial arts training without regard for race, creed, or national origin of participants" in the mission statement of a 501(c)3 organization ought to address the issue quite squarely and fairly.
This is a contradiction in terms.

Ops, sorry, I forgot I already bowed out of the thread... Back to my cave.

George S. Ledyard
10-17-2009, 06:58 PM
A man has visited my dojo and is interested in practicing. His religion prohibits him from touching a woman who is not his wife. My dojo is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization, and thus may not discriminate based on religion.

Has anyone else faced this issue? Any suggestions?
Tell him not to train at your place.

Flintstone
10-18-2009, 08:17 AM
Tell him not to train at your place.
Yessss!! That's the solution, Sensei :crazy: ! And then tell him to go back to his cave.

Trying to be Amused
10-18-2009, 08:39 AM
The Sensei has to make a decision, is he interested in accepting all interested students, or is he going to discriminate against those for whom the Dojo rules must change?

Any decision is legitimate. But please, be honest, if you insist a student must transgress basic rules of his religion, you may as well ask him to change religion. This type of requirement is discriminatory.

I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam due to your living and being brought up in a Protestant Christian environment (or a secular post Protestant Christian environment). I do not know of equivalent fundamental rules in Christianity. Though I am sure there are some. Growing in a secular post Jewish community, I find a huge distinction between the Orthodox Judaism concept of opposite sexes segregation and discrimination against women.

This might be the legal side. Yet, this is discriminatory in the moral sense.

True, but are all the rules equally important?

Sorry, but this example is misleading. You compare a person with no respect to tradition, to a person who follows one tradition and is interested in practicing and honoring another.

I agree, this does make a poor training environment. Yet, not traveling and not turning the lights on one day a week seems much more harmful of life quality, and religious Jews do it one full day (>24 hours) every week.

The difference is the matter of cause\motive. If one is dismissive of other peoples, and a racist, you are right. But if one only follows his religion, and is willing to do the most his religion allows him to, it is not the same.

WE respect Japanese tradition while practicing Aikido, are we bound to disrespect any other tradition (most of which pre-date Aikido by many hundreds of years)? Can one not find a way to respect both?

Ahmed never said men and women are not equal, this is your interpretation.
I do not know his explanation (the Islamic one), but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy, and her honor should therefore be kept inside.
Ahmed (and many religious Islamic and Jews) may train with women -- these are the rules of his religion -- you can either accept him or discriminate against him, period.
Actually Religious Jews are only allowed to touch women, after both have gone to purify in the Mikve (special water pool), are you willing to create on in your dojo and ask all women and men to go there prior to training?

Amir

So then, it's morally acceptable for the religion to be discriminatory, but not the art?

Flintstone
10-18-2009, 04:26 PM
So then, it's morally acceptable for the religion to be discriminatory, but not the art?
Discriminatory is not the word when talking religion. It is when talking the art (unless you see Aikido as a religion).

Trying to be Amused
10-19-2009, 02:26 PM
Discriminatory is not the word when talking religion. It is when talking the art (unless you see Aikido as a religion).

Why is religion elevated above the art? Why may a "religious person" who discriminates based on gender (and it is discrimination) offend another person, who may also be religious, of the opposite gender? What of the religious rights of the female half of the population?

And why create a special category for religion whereby the concept of discrimination does not apply? Especially against the historical evidence of discrimination by religions of all sorts?

And, yes, some people do view Aikido as a religion. (Not me, however.)

Flintstone
10-19-2009, 05:27 PM
Why is religion elevated above the art? Why may a "religious person" who discriminates based on gender (and it is discrimination) offend another person, who may also be religious, of the opposite gender?

Because a "religious person" doesn't discriminate based on gender. Just to follow the example along the thread, Judaism and Islam don't discriminate against women. Read the Torah and the Al Quram? Read the Bible? What's the difference in them? It is the people who discriminate, not the religion. The people's misinterpretation of the doctrines is who discriminate. The "ad pedem litterae" thingy.

What of the religious rights of the female half of the population?

What of them? Please, elaborate.

And why create a special category for religion whereby the concept of discrimination does not apply? Especially against the historical evidence of discrimination by religions of all sorts?

Because religion is a special category. You know, you cannot fight agains faith.

And, yes, some people do view Aikido as a religion. (Not me, however.)

Those are the dangers of mixing budo and religion. Is like mixing maths and religion or computer science and judo. There's no link between them. Oh, wait, I swear I read a book about the mathematical prove of God's existence... Uffff...

Lorien Lowe
10-22-2009, 11:49 PM
Because a "religious person" doesn't discriminate based on gender. Just to follow the example along the thread, Judaism and Islam don't discriminate against women. Read the Torah and the Al Quram? Read the Bible? What's the difference in them? It is the people who discriminate, not the religion. The people's misinterpretation of the doctrines is who discriminate. The "ad pedem litterae" thingy.

The people whom this thread references will state, quite clearly, that it is against their religion to touch women. Not that they, personally, choose not to touch women, but that their religion forbids it.

Because religion is a special category. You know, you cannot fight agains faith.

Why not? If someone wants to treat me as a second-class citizen, why should I care why they are doing it? A person's faith is absolutely their own until they start behaving in ways that have real-world consequences. When they start making claims about the physical world, their claims enter the realm of testing by science; when they start behaving in a way that impacts others, their behavior enters the realm of social or even legal regulation.

Freedom of speech means that you get to say what you want, not that you're free of the social consequences of what you've said; freedom of religion means that you get to believe what you want, not that you're free from the social consequences of your beliefs.

Flintstone
10-23-2009, 08:40 AM
The people whom this thread references will state, quite clearly, that it is against their religion to touch women. Not that they, personally, choose not to touch women, but that their religion forbids it.

And the word for it is... "discrimination"?

Why not? If someone wants to treat me as a second-class citizen, why should I care why they are doing it?

Second class what? Did you ever read the books I mentioned before? Or just talking prejudices?

Lorien Lowe
10-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Due respect, but I'm not going to go out and buy and read a book in order to bolster someone else's argument on an internet forum. I have a stack of books literally three feet tall that I'm working on, and I feel no need to add to it for your sake. Try making the argument on your own rather than insisting that others pick up your indoctrination material.

Second class citizen? Yes. Treating someone else like they are too dirty to touch does have an impact. Humans are social organisms; one would have to be a sociopath to be unaffected by treatment like that.

My dojo recently became non-profit; we've had Jewish and Muslim students in the past, and this hasn't been a problem for them. The only thing that was different was that the muslim students wouldn't do a full bow - no biggie. Refusing to train with women would be a much bigger problem, especially given that half of our teachers are women and a not insignificant proportion of the students are women. It would take a huge amount of gall for someone to come in and demand that the structure of the dojo be remade to accommodate their particular religious interpretation.

Flintstone
10-25-2009, 06:56 AM
It's amazing when people argument about hings they do not know about. You boast you did not read the books, and you try to discuss about it? Oh c'mon.

It's not the book, but the people. It's not the "doctrine", but the people. Mindless people are there in any religion, like there are mindless atheists and agnostics. Remark my words once again: it is the people, not the religion.

My indoctrination material? What are you talking about? Do you know me, my lady?

Too dirty to touch? Who told you that? Oh, maybe some stupid people? Or is it just your (once again) prejucides?

Demand? No. They don't demand. If they do, please, show them the way out. Most probably they "ask".

Pfffffff.........

akiy
10-25-2009, 07:34 PM
Please watch your tone, folks.

-- Jun

Lorien Lowe
10-26-2009, 02:31 AM
This thread is not about not a debate about books; its about non-profit dojos accomodating, or failing to accomodate, special religious requests (specifically whether or not to allow students to discriminate whom they will train with based on sex) by potential students. I have personal experience training in a non-profit dojo with people of various religions, and none of them have ever had a problem here with the rules set down by my dojo - even those whose religion is explicitely antagonistic towards women in its witten texts; I also have opinions on religious restrictions, and I don't need to read your books in order to legitimately express those opinions. Other people responding to this thread also have valid experiences and opinions without necessarily having read in their entirety any holy book(s). We are talking about behavior, not about texts.

So, please, chill. You don't get to set the parameters of the discussion all by your idiosyncratic self.

p.s. yes, I agree that considering women 'too dirty to touch' is silly. Unfortunately, that does not prevent people, even potential aikido students, from making that claim based on their religion. Those who do generally can cite chapter and verse of the Koran or the Old Testament to back themselves up.

Fwiw:
Sura 5:6, Sura 4:43, Sura 2:222; Leviticus 12:2-8, Leviticus 15:19-28, Leviticus 18:19, Job 14:4, Esther 2:9-12, pretty much all of proverbs, Jeremiah 3:1 (just to confine oneself to some of the 'women are dirty' parts; the 'second-class' parts would take too much room if one cited them all).

Abasan
10-26-2009, 03:11 AM
For clarification:

2:222 is about a husband having intercourse with a menstruating wife. Don't do it because its not hygienic.

4:43 and 5:6 applies to not being able to Pray after amongst others having had sexual intercourse (this applies to both man and woman) until you have bath (hadath) to purify yourself.

So I don't see a valid argument about discrimination to women or not being able to touch women in practice. We certainly don't believe women have cooties. And here's a religion that frequently espouses that the door to heaven is under the mothers feet. When asked who is more noble, the Prophet answered 'your mother' thrice before 'your father'.

At the end of it all, some people believe in the material and the base value. Others have faith that God knows our true intentions. If you believe that in practice, touching women will illicit sexual connotations, then you are wise to prohibit that hidden desire. But if your intentions are noble and it hasn't cross your mind, why shouldn't you train with the opposite gender.

Flintstone
10-26-2009, 04:32 AM
Thank you, Ahmad, for your input. What do these Suras have to do about discrimination to women or about that "second class" thingy?

When I say "read the book(s)" it's just to make you understand that "what mindless people do/say" is NOT the same that "Islam do/say". I'm sorry that you find my suggestion inappropiate or you belive that I do want to indoctrinate you. Nothing further from my intentions.

You have a lot of prejudices; that's fact. I touch women in keiko all the time, since my intentions are not sexual; and that IS the spirit of the Suras.

Amir Krause
10-26-2009, 10:28 AM
While I am a Jew by nationality (and therefore religion) . Personnaly, I am an Atheist and do not believe in any God. Further, I can not understand if such an entity existed, why would it care about us minor mortalls?

Having said that, I do believe one should be honest of his own doings and the implications of his actions.

So then, it's morally acceptable for the religion to be discriminatory, but not the art?

Who-ever said that?? :confused: Not me!

Why is religion elevated above the art? Why may a "religious person" who discriminates based on gender (and it is discrimination) offend another person, who may also be religious, of the opposite gender? What of the religious rights of the female half of the population?

And why create a special category for religion whereby the concept of discrimination does not apply? Especially against the historical evidence of discrimination by religions of all sorts?

And, yes, some people do view Aikido as a religion. (Not me, however.)

Discriminatory is not the word when talking religion. It is when talking the art (unless you see Aikido as a religion).

does[/I] have an impact. Humans are social organisms; one would have to be a sociopath to be unaffected by treatment like that.

My dojo recently became non-profit; we've had Jewish and Muslim students in the past, and this hasn't been a problem for them. The only thing that was different was that the muslim students wouldn't do a full bow - no biggie. Refusing to train with women would be a much bigger problem, especially given that half of our teachers are women and a not insignificant proportion of the students are women. It would take a huge amount of gall for someone to come in and demand that the structure of the dojo be remade to accommodate their particular religious interpretation.

Many religions are discriminatory. As far as Judaism, to my understadnign, it was one of the most socially progressive religions of its time. Presenting an ideal back then. Still, women are definitly not held as having equal rights. Then again, they are not second class citizens either.
In the Judaic order of things, each has his own very minor and inequal place - husband and wife. Some of the rules you rage aabout today were actually aimed at protecting the women from abusive men.

Nobody is asking you to change the structure of your Dojo. Least of all, me. I would expect you to be honest - say you have this set of vlaues and you will not accept any who does not follow them, even though it creates a de-facto discrimination!

This thread is not about not a debate about books; its about non-profit dojos accomodating, or failing to accomodate, special religious requests (specifically whether or not to allow students to discriminate whom they will train with based on sex) by potential students. I have personal experience training in a non-profit dojo with people of various religions, and none of them have ever had a problem here with the rules set down by my dojo - even those whose religion is explicitely antagonistic towards women in its witten texts; I also have opinions on religious restrictions, and I don't need to read your books in order to legitimately express those opinions. Other people responding to this thread also have valid experiences and opinions without necessarily having read in their entirety any holy book(s). We are talking about behavior, not about texts.

So, please, chill. You don't get to set the parameters of the discussion all by your idiosyncratic self.

p.s. yes, I agree that considering women 'too dirty to touch' is silly. Unfortunately, that does not prevent people, even potential aikido students, from making that claim based on their religion. Those who do generally can cite chapter and verse of the Koran or the Old Testament to back themselves up.

Fwiw:
Sura 5:6, Sura 4:43, Sura 2:222; Leviticus 12:2-8, Leviticus 15:19-28, Leviticus 18:19, Job 14:4, Esther 2:9-12, pretty much all of proverbs, Jeremiah 3:1 (just to confine oneself to some of the 'women are dirty' parts; the 'second-class' parts would take too much room if one cited them all).

I took a look at the Leviticus quotes (was too strange to me to read the bible in English, so at the end, I found some way of locating these passages in Hebrew). Both are about a women's blood, either after birth or after ministration. In both the women and anyone touching her during this period are required to purify themselves (current custom is washing in a "Mikve")
Anyone thinking this means "women are dirty" is simply distorting the text.
P.S. if you look for pure & real discriminations in the Tora, next to the last quote there was another sentence clarifying homosexual relations are banned and people having them should be stoned to death.

Amir

sorokod
10-26-2009, 11:25 AM
Ummm... I know a bit about Judaism . Then again, they are not second class citizens either.
One could probably have a very long argument about second, third or maybe some fractional class that women occupy in Judiasm.

As an non numeric illustration consider this: every Jewish male is required to give thanks to god every morning and in particular "Baruch atah…she lo asani isha." that is "Thank you god ... for not making me a woman".

Amir Krause
10-26-2009, 12:13 PM
As an non numeric illustration consider this: every Jewish male is required to give thanks to god every morning and in particular "Baruch atah…she lo asani isha." that is "Thank you god ... for not making me a woman".

True, but I am not sure this should be considered as discriminatory, this is a recognition of reality : women lives were and still are more difficult, definitly true for 2,000 uears ago (when most prayers were set) and still true today :o This is a matter of intention. Note the women say "blessed he who made me as he wishes" (hope my translation is sufficient).

If you are looking for discrimination, you could note that women are disallowed from being a reliable witnesses (toghether with the fools and the blinds). There many other issues, just not of the top of my head right now

Amir

sorokod
10-26-2009, 12:20 PM
True, but I am not sure this should be considered as discriminatory,

I'll leave it to the reader.

akiy
10-26-2009, 01:13 PM
Hi folks,

Request #5:

Hi folks,

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at an aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=14) forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Lorien Lowe
10-26-2009, 01:32 PM
Ahmad -
I have trained with Muslim men and women before who have interpreted things the same way that you do. They were, in fact, some of the nicest people I've ever known and their kids were shockingly well-adjusted. However, there *are* other interpretations out there. The Koran, the Bible, and a host of other religious texts can be interpreted in many ways, and it is far from unusual to see Jews, Christians, Muslims (and atheists!) who take the extreme view and think that women are dirty, unintelligent, over-emotional, etc.

The question isn't whether or not this happens; we know that it does. The question isn't whether or not the people who do this try to justify it with one holy text or another; we know that they do (even if we don't accept their particular interpretation).

The question of this thread is how *we* react when someone who takes this view comes to our (non-profit) dojo and requests or demands that we rearrange our practice in order to accommodate their interpretation of their religion.

Lorien Lowe
10-26-2009, 01:59 PM
Amir-
I don't know about the Hebrew translation; my citations were from an English translation of a Christian Old Testament, and it clearly states that a woman on her menses, anything she touches, and anyone who touches anything that she has touched, are all unclean and must be 'purified' by blood sacrifice; it's clear from the Orthodox in Israel that women can be religiously interpreted as second-class.

There's plenty of other stuff in the Koran, the Old and New Testaments, the Hadith, and pretty much any other extensive religous text that you search through (heck, there are even Buddhist monks that are prohibited from touching women) that can be interpreted pretty negatively towards women by any sect that is inclined in that way. There are even atheists who justify their bad behavior towards women based on 'evolutionary psychology.'

My point of view is not that Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or atheism are bad; my point of view is that nobody should have a right to rearrange the practice of my dojo to fit their particular belief system. Nobody should be able to say, for example, that since they can only train on Wednesdays due to their schedule, the woman who usually teaches on Wednesdays should swap her schedule around with the male teachers (or quit teaching altogether), and that the female students who also can only train on Wednesdays are just SOL.

Flintstone
10-26-2009, 05:12 PM
So, Lorien, basically you agree with US then that it is the PERSON, not the RELIGION who is discriminating?

Back to track, if someone comes to my dojo and ask to train only with men because of religious "interpretations", I'll surely try to acomodate him. But this is a thing I'll have to discuss with all the students. Isn't it what liberty is all about? If we agree to acomodate, why not do so?

If the students don't want to do that... well... that will be a pity, but the guy will have to leave for the benefit of the dojo.

Lorien Lowe
10-27-2009, 12:02 AM
I agree that the person is choosing their particular religious interpretation, but that person will say that it is their religion (or at least their religious sect) to discriminate. They will argue just as hard as you have that behavior based on their religion should be protected.

Just out of curiosity, Alejandro, what proportion of your students are women? Are any of your teachers women?

Tyranny of the majority and all...

Darryl Cowens
10-27-2009, 01:05 AM
Well... as I always say.... if you are a vegetarian, then don't order a large T-bone steak... :)

Amir Krause
10-27-2009, 07:06 AM
Ahmad -
I have trained with Muslim men and women before who have interpreted things the same way that you do. They were, in fact, some of the nicest people I've ever known and their kids were shockingly well-adjusted. However, there *are* other interpretations out there. The Koran, the Bible, and a host of other religious texts can be interpreted in many ways, and it is far from unusual to see Jews, Christians, Muslims (and atheists!) who take the extreme view and think that women are dirty, unintelligent, over-emotional, etc.

The question isn't whether or not this happens; we know that it does. The question isn't whether or not the people who do this try to justify it with one holy text or another; we know that they do (even if we don't accept their particular interpretation).


Agreed - and making a lot of Sense.

I doubt how often will a person of the latter type - closed to any change - arrive to see M.A. practice or any such activity, not to speak of joining it in a Dojo which does not follow his own beliefs.

The question of this thread is how *we* react when someone who takes this view comes to our (non-profit) dojo and requests or demands that we rearrange our practice in order to accommodate their interpretation of their religion.
There is a difference between demanding or even just requesting others to rearrange their practice, and between letting someone in the dojo train in a way adjusted to his limitations.
So some trainee does not touch women, in some cases, HE (no-one else) will have to wait a turn and not train because he can only train with women. In fact, he is practically discriminating against himself (from my own experience practicing with Women often has additional important qualities most men lack) just were is the harm in that?

Amir-
I don't know about the Hebrew translation; my citations were from an English translation of a Christian Old Testament, and it clearly states that a woman on her menses, anything she touches, and anyone who touches anything that she has touched, are all unclean and must be 'purified' by blood sacrifice; it's clear from the Orthodox in Israel that women can be religiously interpreted as second-class.

Lorien
The text you brought from the Tora, relates to the blood of the women coming from her womb (either ministration of post pregnancy) being "Taboo". This does not make women "un-clean" as a whole, such interpretation would falsify the text (though one could many such cases). If you ask me, this could be considered as one of the cases in which the Jewish rules tried to create some Hygienic conditions which was huge innovation back then.
Yet again, I do not claim that there are no discriminations against Women in Judaism. It is just that you concentrate on the things one can solve with ease, without imposing limitations on others.


There's plenty of other stuff in the Koran, the Old and New Testaments, the Hadith, and pretty much any other extensive religous text that you search through (heck, there are even Buddhist monks that are prohibited from touching women) that can be interpreted pretty negatively towards women by any sect that is inclined in that way. There are even atheists who justify their bad behavior towards women based on 'evolutionary psychology.'

My point of view is not that Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or atheism are bad; my point of view is that nobody should have a right to rearrange the practice of my dojo to fit their particular belief system. Nobody should be able to say, for example, that since they can only train on Wednesdays due to their schedule, the woman who usually teaches on Wednesdays should swap her schedule around with the male teachers (or quit teaching altogether), and that the female students who also can only train on Wednesdays are just SOL.

About – r-arranging – see my previous answer – above.

Well, among some very Orthodox (I would call them extreme) Jews, there is the concept of "The bad Emotion" – which includes any sexual related emotion in any form (If you ask me – total nonsense and contrary to most of Judaism healthy relation to heterosexual sex in the bible and early traditions). The amazing thing here, those men expect women to take limitations, to help them not to face their "Bad Emotion" – to stay separated and unseen. In a way, these Orthodox Jews actually follow some Muslims cultures and their special attire for women.
However, I can not see any such Jew coming to learn in a Dojo, not even here in Israel. Those who come are of a different type, much more open, self confident and understanding of the exact boundaries of the limitations they took upon themselves as part of their religion.
It is my belief, that the "sane" / "non-extremist" society should encourage this latter type, and accommodate for it. Even if it requires some very MINOR sacrifice on our side (but one which is answered by a similar step from the religious person – finding his own way to compromise –with all the exceptions to the laws and loopholes I know Judaism is full of and sure other religions are too).
In my own belief- if one of "us" is unwilling to look for such solutions at all, he should know that he chose to discriminate. He may have a valid reason or may consider the issue fundamental (for example, my sensei will waive bowing to objects, but not to people. He says the latter is about respect)

Amir

Deidre Huizinga
10-28-2009, 06:45 AM
Hi there,

It's quite a complicated discussion, did O'sensei not explain it simple?

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."

(The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba
Translated and edited by John Stevens)

With love, Deidre

Nafis Zahir
10-29-2009, 12:35 AM
But if your intentions are noble and it hasn't cross your mind, why shouldn't you train with the opposite gender.

Because it goes against the Sunnah.

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/88099/men%20touching%20women

AikiSophia
11-08-2009, 01:43 PM
A man has visited my dojo and is interested in practicing. His religion prohibits him from touching a woman who is not his wife. My dojo is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization, and thus may not discriminate based on religion.

Has anyone else faced this issue? Any suggestions?

There are many religious restrictions in the world, everything from what you should not eat or drink, to what one can not wear. In this case it is the contact between the opposite sex. I understand your dilemma, however choosing to do aikido, is to me also choosing to train with all kinds of people, regardless of their sex, ethnicity, religion etc. So if one can not touch another women than his wife, not training aikido is a sacrifice he will have to do in the name of his religion. There are alternative martial arts he can do, in which he will not violate is religions beliefs. One chooses ones (religious) values, and by entering a dojo with male and females, there will always be a risk of unwanted contact. There may be other dojo that offers male or female only classes, and these may be more suitable for him.

What if the next person entering the dojo can not have contact with "unclean" people who eat pork, or can not accept a female leader / instructor based on her/his religious beliefs? What if someone beliefs violate mine? This is a dilemma, and perhaps you should explain your dilemma to him.

Lorien Lowe
11-08-2009, 05:52 PM
So some trainee does not touch women, in some cases, HE (no-one else) will have to wait a turn and not train because he can only train with women. In fact, he is practically discriminating against himself (from my own experience practicing with Women often has additional important qualities most men lack) just were is the harm in that?

No harm at all. If the student in question takes his religious restrictions upon himself, rather than trying to impose them on everyone else, then I have absolutely no problem with it.

If you ask me, this could be considered as one of the cases in which the Jewish rules tried to create some Hygienic conditions which was huge innovation back then.

sure - likewise the prohibition against eating pork. However, I think that (at least the version I took it from) takes it a little too far, and is a little over-specifically harsh with menstural blood; there was a lot of fighting and warfare back then, and one doesn't see the same association with uncleanness for the soldiers who slaughtered their enemies and ended up covered in human blood.

It is my belief, that the "sane" / "non-extremist" society should encourage this latter type, and accommodate for it.

Again, no argument. If someone is open-minded towards me, I become uke if I fail to be open-minded towards them.

Been there...done that
11-17-2009, 10:54 AM
Lorien,

I have to respectfully disagree when you state that the only person affected is person with the religious restrictions. I have had direct experience with this issue, and I must stated that the female partner is also affected in a few circumstances. First, she does not get a different person to train with - you know different body type. She has in effect one less training partner on the mat than all her male counterarts. Second, if practicing jiyuwaza/randori and the male practitioner with religious restrictions turn is up, she must sit out because he does not want to touch a woman. She gets left out in this specific instance and he doesn't. If you train jiyuwaza a lot in your dojo this can happen a lot. Third, there are times where she can be the only woman in a very small class of three. The two males both have religious restrictions against touching females. Who gets left out? She does. Who doesn't get to train for the day? The woman.

As to affecting the 501(c)(3) status, are you discriminating based on religion if you state to the person with religious restrictions that all people regardless of religion and gender train together? You are only required to provide a REASONABLE accomodation not any accomodation. In my opinion, if any other student's practice will be adversely affected by the request then it is not reasonable. This is especially true in aikido where we train with the opposite gender. This would be less so in other martial arts that emphasis kata and same gender sparring. So, an adversity to bowing to the kamiza would be a reasonable accomodation because someone not bowing to the kamiza, sensei or even me is not affecting my training. However, someone not training with the opposite gender is not reasonable because the woman would lose a training partner and if she were partaking in jiyuwaza or smaller class size then this would be much more adverse to her training.

With that said, I agree that his choice will affect him but that is the consequences of his decision to commit to a particular religious path. If he feels that he/she will be compromising their beliefs then the proper choice should be to not join the dojo in the first place, find a martial arts schools where he can be reasonably accomodate without adversely affect those around him.

Flintstone
11-17-2009, 05:25 PM
I have, you know, a problem with inteolerant people. If they won't accept my pupils religious restrictions then they'll be invited to leave and come back when thei opened up their minds to other people's beliefs. If you keep behemently insisting in that your moral is of a higher value than mine or my students, please, don't come in. You attitude is just that which causes religion wars over the planet. But this is just my opinion and it's wrong. Yours is right.

jss
11-18-2009, 01:41 AM
I have, you know, a problem with inteolerant people. If they won't accept my pupils religious restrictions then they'll be invited to leave and come back when thei opened up their minds to other people's beliefs. If you keep behemently insisting in that your moral is of a higher value than mine or my students, please, don't come in. You attitude is just that which causes religion wars over the planet. But this is just my opinion and it's wrong. Yours is right.
<devil's advocate>
I do not necessarily need to think my moral is of a higher value than yours or that of your students to reject those religious restrictions. I could be a moral relativist.
Secondly, how is having to accept these religious restrictions against my own beliefs not an implicit confirmation that these restrictions are of a higher moral value than my own beliefs? So, pot kettle black.
</devil's advocate>

Flintstone
11-18-2009, 08:00 AM
I do not necessarily need to think my moral is of a higher value than yours or that of your students to reject those religious restrictions. I could be a moral relativist.
Moral relativists will think both views are correct and, accordingly, accomodate to their restrictions as best as they can.

Secondly, how is having to accept these religious restrictions against my own beliefs not an implicit confirmation that these restrictions are of a higher moral value than my own beliefs?
Not higher or lesser, but... different. That's all. I fail to see that cause-effect relationship you expose here.

jss
11-18-2009, 08:59 AM
Moral relativists will think both views are correct and, accordingly, accomodate to their restrictions as best as they can.
Or the moral relativist is a bit lazy and says that as both views are correct, there is no need to put any effort into accommodating to anyone's restrictions. With a relativist, it really can go either way (or a third way no one saw coming. ;)).

Not higher or lesser, but... different. That's all. I fail to see that cause-effect relationship you expose here.
Hmmm... I may have misread you when you said:
If they won't accept my pupils religious restrictions then they'll be invited to leave and come back when thei opened up their minds to other people's beliefs. If you keep behemently insisting in that your moral is of a higher value than mine or my students, please, don't come in.
You don't like someone claiming his moral is of a higher value than someone else's. But if you accommodate to one person's religious restrictions and these restrictions limit another person's ability to practice, aren't you, by accommodating to these restrictions, claiming in an implicit manner that these restrictions are of a higher moral value than the other person's views on practice?
To make this more specific, let's imagine the following situation. I don't want to train with women, because my religion teaches me that's the proper way to show respect to women. There is a woman at the dojo who believes that training with everyone is the way to show proper respect to fellow dojo members. It's impossible to make both happy, unless at leas one of us changes his/her beliefs. If you as a dojo head make the decision that my religious restriction about training with women should be respected, that decision implies you think my beliefs have a higher moral value than those of the woman in question.

Lorien Lowe
11-21-2009, 09:20 PM
Lorien,

I have to respectfully disagree when you state that the only person affected is person with the religious restrictions. I have had direct experience with this issue, and I must stated that the female partner is also affected in a few circumstances. First, she does not get a different person to train with - you know different body type. She has in effect one less training partner on the mat than all her male counterarts.
Second, if practicing jiyuwaza/randori and the male practitioner with religious restrictions turn is up, she must sit out because he does not want to touch a woman. She gets left out in this specific instance and he doesn't. If you train jiyuwaza a lot in your dojo this can happen a lot. Third, there are times where she can be the only woman in a very small class of three. The two males both have religious restrictions against touching females. Who gets left out? She does. Who doesn't get to train for the day? The woman.

The person with religious restrictions to training with women aren't going to be 'forced' to train with women; they'd just leave. The women in question are not going to be able to train with this religious person no matter what happens. Either he's allowed in class and trains only with men, or he doesn't come to the dojo at all. In your second case, it's not that she'd have two people to train with that she otherwise wouldn't, it's that she'd show up at the dojo alone.

You are only required to provide a REASONABLE accomodation not any accomodation. In my opinion, if any other student's practice will be adversely affected by the request then it is not reasonable.

whenever we train with other people, someone is going to be adversely affected by someone else. Stinky Guy? He adversely affects my practice when he interrupts my ability to remain upright in kokyu-ho by breathing on me. Loud Guy? He distracts me from across the dojo with his yelling. Flirty Gal? She just annoys the heck out of me. Heaven only knows what I do to distract or annoy other people. Opinionated Gal? Throat-punch Gal?

I think that if there's a question of training or not training, the Religious Guy should be the one to sit out, not the women of the dojo. Nor should women be forced into a females-only ghetto on one side of the mat. Let Religious Guy train, but just like Stinky Guy gets a talking-to when it gets so bad that he's doing no-touch aikido from six feet away, so should Religious Guy be limited in his impact - but if he's willing to take responsibility for that, don't just leave him on the curb. It's good for him and good for all the guys in the dojo to have another set of hands.

Amir Krause
11-22-2009, 09:50 AM
The person with religious restrictions to training with women aren't going to be 'forced' to train with women; they'd just leave. The women in question are not going to be able to train with this religious person no matter what happens. Either he's allowed in class and trains only with men, or he doesn't come to the dojo at all. In your second case, it's not that she'd have two people to train with that she otherwise wouldn't, it's that she'd show up at the dojo alone.

Exactly what I wanted to say - From experiance, people who have religious restrictions will not jion unless those can be accomudated. The idea of "Been there...done that" implies if the Sensei does not agree, they will join without those restrictions. If that were the case, they do not really care for the restrictions.
Further, from experiance, at least most of the Jews who keep "Negia" (not touching women unless they went to the Mikve) care about intentional touch and not about accidental touch. Those who care about the latter will not ask to jion a mixed club anyhow.

whenever we train with other people, someone is going to be adversely affected by someone else. Stinky Guy? He adversely affects my practice when he interrupts my ability to remain upright in kokyu-ho by breathing on me. Loud Guy? He distracts me from across the dojo with his yelling. Flirty Gal? She just annoys the heck out of me. Heaven only knows what I do to distract or annoy other people. Opinionated Gal? Throat-punch Gal?

If you check the AikiWeb archives, you will find many recomendations for some person not to train with another, if he feels such training is counter beneficial (dangerous, extremly bad \ abusive Uke and even some social situations). If one may choose not to train with another because of such reasons. Why are some here so appaled about religous restrictions as a reason?

I think that if there's a question of training or not training, the Religious Guy should be the one to sit out, not the women of the dojo. Nor should women be forced into a females-only ghetto on one side of the mat. Let Religious Guy train, but just like Stinky Guy gets a talking-to when it gets so bad that he's doing no-touch aikido from six feet away, so should Religious Guy be limited in his impact - but if he's willing to take responsibility for that, don't just leave him on the curb. It's good for him and good for all the guys in the dojo to have another set of hands.
Exactly !!!

Amir

Been there...done that
11-23-2009, 04:33 PM
The person with religious restrictions to training with women aren't going to be 'forced' to train with women; they'd just leave. The women in question are not going to be able to train with this religious person no matter what happens. Either he's allowed in class and trains only with men, or he doesn't come to the dojo at all. In your second case, it's not that she'd have two people to train with that she otherwise wouldn't, it's that she'd show up at the dojo alone.

Based upon my direct experience they don't leave the dojo; they are welcomed in the dojo because they are essentially nice people and not thugs. Sensei allows it and accomodates because he is trying to spread aikido to a group of people who would not otherwise practice it. You are told not to train with Mr. X, Y and Z or that Mr. X, Y and Z don't train with women because of their religious beliefs so please don't train with them - try to find another partner and skip them in jiyuwaza. In the name of PCness and propagation of aikido you - as a woman - are caught in the middle.

And, how does showing up alone excuse the fact that the woman in the second case is by her choice to be excluded from training because the two other men in class don't train with women? I show up alone every single day to the dojo would that excuse someone from raping me in the locker room where I change? I don't think so. So why would that kind of logic apply here?

When she shows up for a morning class and is the one of three people on the mat; she is the only woman and the other two have religious restrictions, how the heck is her training not affected? It's not by her choice -- it's by theirs to practice their view of their religion. You can not admit here in this circumstance that her training was adversely affected?

Would it make a difference to you that this was the only time the particular female could train and these men would only occasionally show up as a group? She pays dues like everyone else. Imagine showing up to class a two or three practices in a row and NOT BE ABLE TO TRAIN. And what will you say to yourself? "Oh, I showed up by myself - so my training is not adversely affected?" I don't think so. You will be peeved that you did not get to train. That's it. It is just not a happenstance "oh, well, I just decided to show up alone."

whenever we train with other people, someone is going to be adversely affected by someone else. Stinky Guy? He adversely affects my practice when he interrupts my ability to remain upright in kokyu-ho by breathing on me. Loud Guy? He distracts me from across the dojo with his yelling. Flirty Gal? She just annoys the heck out of me. Heaven only knows what I do to distract or annoy other people. Opinionated Gal? Throat-punch Gal?

Your point here is a bit of a red herring because you are bringing in notions that do not keep another person from training. Stinky Guy just stinks. Loud guy is just loud. Flity Guy is just flirty. And Opinionated Gal is just opinionated. You can still train with a stinky, loud, flirty opinionated person. And as far as 501(c)(3) status goes none of these people fall within a protected class. A dojo will not loose it's non-profit status if they tell stinky guy to clean up or leave, or loud guy to quite down or leave, flirty guy to stop flirting or leave or opinionated gal to stop gabbing on the mat. However, a person's religious status is a protected class for 501(c)(3) purposes.

I think that if there's a question of training or not training, the Religious Guy should be the one to sit out, not the women of the dojo. Nor should women be forced into a females-only ghetto on one side of the mat. Let Religious Guy train, but just like Stinky Guy gets a talking-to when it gets so bad that he's doing no-touch aikido from six feet away, so should Religious Guy be limited in his impact - but if he's willing to take responsibility for that, don't just leave him on the curb. It's good for him and good for all the guys in the dojo to have another set of hands.

It's his choice to follow an orthodox belief system not hers. And by his choice to follow it he will experience consequences because of it. However, the people around him should not suffer because of it either. And, as I have experienced directly - you do and you will.

I am not advocating that the woman should sit out. It is just that she will be sitting out as a consequence. I'm just pointing out that you can not have one side of the coin without the other, especially in the circumstances that I previously explained. Just try participating in jiyuwaza with the person with religious restrictions - you're sitting out whether you like it or not. Just try instructing a small class with the person in it - you can not physically touch him or use him as uke. I've been that woman - you will be sitting out and not by choice -- but by his and by your sensei who "accomodates" it.

Amir said: The idea of "Been there...done that" implies if the Sensei does not agree, they will join without those restrictions. If that were the case, they do not really care for the restrictions.

No, they joined the particular dojo with those restrictions which is why different women in the dojo had issues. Which, is why I had the direct experience that I did. Since the sensei and his assistants were too busy with being PC they didn't stop to think of the implications it was for the women in the dojo.

I think what I really was implying is that as a sensei you need to clearly communicate the type of practice and training that they can expect in the dojo and that you expect everyone to partake in the same experience - everyone trains together regardless of size, gender, age, ability, etc. You need to be clear that there is A LOT of physical contact in your dojo and that there are no exceptions to this physical contact. You can explain bowing is not for religious purposes and that you are in no way asking anyone to surrender their belief system to train. They can sit and watch a class and see if it is suitable for them.

Kevin Leavitt
11-23-2009, 05:06 PM
. And as far as 501(c)(3) status goes none of these people fall within a protected class. A dojo will not loose it's non-profit status if they tell stinky guy to clean up or leave, or loud guy to quite down or leave, flirty guy to stop flirting or leave or opinionated gal to stop gabbing on the mat. However, a person's religious status is a protected class for 501(c)(3) purposes.


It all depends on the charter of the organization and if it was approved by the government as such. You cannot discriminate period.

The best case example is Boy Scouts of America...a 501c. The Supreme Court upheld there ability to refuse membership to homosexual and atheist individuals based on their organizational values. They can also exclude females membership as a "Boy Scout" or "Cub Scout".

They cannot, however, exclude anyone based on religion, creed, or ethnic basis.

They cannot also exclude adult members of either sex as adult leaders.

Yes, 501c3 can be restrictive as an organization, but it cannot discriminate per se.

So you can, for example have a "Christian Only" dojo. Or a "Muslim Only" or a "male only dojo".

But those parameters must be established based on a very defined criteria and it only applies to those categories as generally recognized as historic values etc, of the organization.

You can't decide though to not allow Chinese Muslims, or Japanese Females etc or change your views midstream, or show inconsistency.

You will also cut yourself off from funding sources, as the BSA found out with United Way and other organizations that did not support those BSA values.

However, in the case of BSA, you had plenty of religious groups like the Church of Latter Day Saints that supported the BSA that have provided a great deal of support, whereas, the Unitarian Church and the BSA pretty much went there separate ways.

But yes, just because you are a 501C3 does not mean you have to accept EVERYONE...it just isn't true.

Flintstone
11-24-2009, 03:41 AM
When she shows up for a morning class and is the one of three people on the mat; she is the only woman and the other two have religious restrictions, how the heck is her training not affected? It's not by her choice -- it's by theirs to practice their view of their religion. You can not admit here in this circumstance that her training was adversely affected?
Ok, let's not admit them in our dojo. Then she will be the only woman. Period. How the heck is her training not affected then??

You are not asking for Sensei not to admit them because of religious beliefs, but because you dislike them. And that's it. Next thing will be not to admit ugly people. Or handicapped people. How will training with a wheelchair guy affect your training? Not meaning disrespect here but... what are the chances a wheelchair handicapped people try to rape you in the lockers?

With all due respect, your basis for rejecting their admitance is hate.

Been there...done that
11-24-2009, 11:22 AM
Ok, let's not admit them in our dojo. Then she will be the only woman. Period. How the heck is her training not affected then??

You are not asking for Sensei not to admit them because of religious beliefs, but because you dislike them. And that's it. Next thing will be not to admit ugly people. Or handicapped people. How will training with a wheelchair guy affect your training? Not meaning disrespect here but... what are the chances a wheelchair handicapped people try to rape you in the lockers?

With all due respect, your basis for rejecting their admitance is hate.

Why can't you see throught your PC blinders. After Fort Hood, I'd think you would. Hate? Are you kidding me? Get over yourself. And, get over yourself, NOW. This is not hate. It's common sense. You'd rather be the "nice person and not offend" the religious person but in effect you end up discriminating against the women in your dojo. Think about it. Think about the double standard here. A woman's right to train in a pluralistic dojo is being adversely affected and you'd rather discriminate against here than someone who has unreasonable expectations.

Since we are talking about lack of accomodation, read through the previous postings by some of the folks who live in Islamic countries. They do NOT accomodate those who want mixed training, one of the previous postes even said that. But that's okay?

Our dojo admits people regardless of their religion. And our dojo accomodates as much as it can. To that extent I agree. Look at my first post. If they have a problemm with bowing - it DOES NOT AFFECT my training, so I don't care if they don't bow.

But I'm saying that we should only accomodate to the extent that it does not effect other people's training. We do have Muslims in our dojo who train with women and bow. They are NOT being excluded because of their religion.

It is a more radical interpretation of Sharia Law for men to not touch women. They consider it "shirk" and they have to cleanse themselves if they do touch a woman. It comes from the Whahabbist's interpretation of Islam and these stronger more fundamental beliefs are becoming more prevelant in Islamic society, even in the United States.

It all depends on the charter of the organization and if it was approved by the government as such. You cannot discriminate period.

The best case example is Boy Scouts of America...a 501c. The Supreme Court upheld there ability to refuse membership to homosexual and atheist individuals based on their organizational values. They can also exclude females membership as a "Boy Scout" or "Cub Scout".

They cannot, however, exclude anyone based on religion, creed, or ethnic basis.

Then it would not be discrimination, if the charter of a dojo is that, all persons regardless of religion, creed or ethnicity are welcome to train in the dojo and all persons are expected to train together because of the nature of the art. It's only discrimination if you don't accomodate the person with religious restrictions. BUT those accomodations must be REASONABLE. The determination of what is resonable is whether it will cause an undue burden or adverse effect on the people involved. My is argument that ANY woman's training will be adversely affected if the accomodation against touch is allowed. You can't discriminate based on gender either, women are a protected class, too.

There was a case a few years ago about former Buddhist not wanting their children to bow to the shomen during Judo tournaments. The courts ruled that because bowing is part of the expectation of participating in Judo which is a Japanese martial art. The court ruled for the Judo Association that all person are expected and should bow at their tournaments.

Been there...done that
11-24-2009, 12:57 PM
You are not asking for Sensei not to admit them because of religious beliefs, but because you dislike them. And that's it. Next thing will be not to admit ugly people. Or handicapped people. How will training with a wheelchair guy affect your training? Not meaning disrespect here but... what are the chances a wheelchair handicapped people try to rape you in the lockers?

Also, Alejandro, this is called a "Slippery Slope" argument and if you took the time to stop yourself and not pre-judge me and re-read my second post you will see the difference that I was making. This is not about me disliking people. This is about me adversely experiencing the consequences of a persons religious practices which were catered to. Where did I say I disliked people because of their beliefs? I don't mind engaging in a reasoned debate, but please stop jumping to conclusions. Disagree with me is fine, but there is no need to attack me by calling me hateful.

Thank you,

Flintstone
11-24-2009, 07:05 PM
Oh, I see. I'm sorry anonymous user. When I say "you" I do not mean "you, anonymous user", but a plural "you".

Anyway, and going back to your example:

Since we are talking about lack of accomodation, read through the previous postings by some of the folks who live in Islamic countries. They do NOT accomodate those who want mixed training, one of the previous postes even said that. But that's okay?Because it is, to them, like asking them to accomodate a person that want to go lubric by grappling with their women. And there's a big diference between this and the original question.

Been there...done that
11-30-2009, 01:47 PM
Oh, I see. I'm sorry anonymous user. When I say "you" I do not mean "you, anonymous user", but a plural "you".

Really? And how is anything I said slippery slope - meaning if "A" happens things will get progressively worse and worse and will lead to worst case possible scenario of "Z". It is a commonly understood fallacy in terms of logic and in use of debate and argument. I have not used that here. Plead point out my comments that you believe are utilizing a "slippery slope" argument.

Anyway, and going back to your example:

Because it is, to them, like asking them to accomodate a person that want to go lubric by grappling with their women. And there's a big diference between this and the original question.

Huh? Your not making any sense. How did lewd behavior get involved in this? Please re-read my previous points - again.

To that extent I will reply, it was neither an example nor even a hypothetical. It was a real experience. The women being affected here is not muslim women wanting to practice wrestling/grappling with American men. It was conservative/fundamentalist Muslim males not wanting to practice Aikido with women. (Actually, it is possible for Muslim women to practice aikido there is such thing as a "sporting hijab", and many Muslim women in Indonesia practice aikido with men.

And my example has everything to do with Jun's request to keep our discussions limited to the impact on the 501(c)(3) (a non-profit corporation in the U.S. which has a tax-exempt status) of accomodating or not accomodating religious restrictions. I see you are from Spain are you not understanding was 501(c)(3) status is? It is something specific found U.S. Corporate Law and U.S. Tax Code. Basically the entity does not have to pay taxes so long as it is "Not for Profit" and meets the guidelines set forth in the U.S. Tax Code. Part of that is to not discriminate base on religion, race or creed.

Flintstone
12-01-2009, 09:09 AM
I'm very aware of how Aikido is practiced in Indonesia. Thanks. So since I'm not making any sense, I don't know anything about that 501(c)(3) thingy, and I don't know who are you, let me drop out of the thread. Again.

Lorien Lowe
12-20-2009, 03:19 AM
I show up alone every single day to the dojo would that excuse someone from raping me in the locker room where I change?

WTF?
No, sorry - having someone decline training with you due to religious restrictions is NOT the same as being raped in the locker room. I would highly suggest that you talk to someone with experience at a rape crisis center if you think otherwise.

I don't think so. So why would that kind of logic apply here?

When she shows up for a morning class and is the one of three people on the mat; she is the only woman and the other two have religious restrictions, how the heck is her training not affected? It's not by her choice -- it's by theirs to practice their view of their religion. You can not admit here in this circumstance that her training was adversely affected?

No. If the two others did not show up at all, she would still be doing the same thing - practicing her stick work alone. If those two guys *don't* have religious restrictions, great! Three people get to train. But someone without religious restrictions is not going to put them aside based on 'Sensei Says.'

She pays dues like everyone else. Imagine showing up to class a two or three practices in a row and NOT BE ABLE TO TRAIN. And what will you say to yourself?

"Damn, I need to find another dojo."
not
"Damn, these guys really need to accommodate me."
Because if the people with religious restrictions outnumber those without, it is the latter that are being 'accommodated.'

You can still train with a stinky, loud, flirty opinionated person.

Yeah, but you don't want to.

It's his choice to follow an orthodox belief system not hers. And by his choice to follow it he will experience consequences because of it.

I absolutely agree - for example, if there's one religious restriction guy (RR) and one no restriction guy (NR), the woman shouldn't have to sit out and never get to train; NR, to be fair, should train with both and RR will have to spend some time sitting out. But the woman will not get to train with RR no matter what happens - whether accommodations are made, or not.

Just try instructing a small class with the person in it - you can not physically touch him or use him as uke.

His loss.

Lorien Lowe
12-20-2009, 03:29 AM
You are not asking for Sensei not to admit them because of religious beliefs, but because you dislike them.

Alejandro, I don't think that's true. BTDT isn't saying that she dislikes RR people; she's saying that she doesn't want to so much as twitch a whisker to accommodate what she sees as discriminatory religious practices. Since the religious practices in question are in fact discriminatory against her as a woman, it's hard to claim that she doesn't have a case - just that maybe she's being a bit extreme in her refusal to accommodate special needs.

Lorien Lowe
12-20-2009, 03:44 AM
Why can't you see throught your PC blinders. After Fort Hood, I'd think you would.

Oh, fer cryin' out loud. Now you're making it look like Alejandro was right about you just hating Islam. The guy at Fort Hood was literally certifiable, and if extreme religiosity makes a deluded schizophrenic more likely to to on a rampage, it's not even close to limited to Islam. Remember that guy who killed the women in the gym? Motivated by Christianity. Likewise Timothy McVeigh, the guy who shot all of those little Amish girls, and the Virginia Tech shooter.

A woman's right to train in a pluralistic dojo is being adversely affected and you'd rather discriminate against here than someone who has unreasonable expectations.

As long as the RR guy takes most of the lost training on himself, you shouldn't complain so loudly. He's losing a hell of a lot more training due to his handicap than you are.

...read through the previous postings by some of the folks who live in Islamic countries. They do NOT accomodate those who want mixed training, one of the previous postes even said that. But that's okay?

...That would be because they're the MAJORITY there. No, I don't think it's ok. At all. I also don't think cutting off people's heads with dull knives is ok, and I'm not going to start doing it just because they are.

But I'm saying that we should only accomodate to the extent that it does not effect other people's training.

I would only agree to the extent that we should accomodate people with RR's whose problems do not affect other people's training any further than any other problematic, but accommodated, social issue (such as stinkiness) does. Sometimes the guy is so stinky that you sit out rather than train with him. Should we kick him off the mat? Sometimes the guy or gal is so out of shape that he or she has to stand aside for a moment, and nobody gets to train with him or her when that happens. Should we kick them off the mat?

It's only discrimination if you don't accomodate the person with religious restrictions. BUT those accomodations must be REASONABLE.

What we're trying to hash out here, I guess, is just what exactly "reasonable" means in this case.

gixxergary
12-21-2009, 03:38 PM
Im curious of what context the religious belief of not coming in contact with a woman stems from. Is it based on the belief that his wife is the only woman he is allowed to touch, or is it based on, that a women is not superior, or equal to him, thus he is not allowed to train with or contact them. Just curious, i am ingnorant to alot of religions.

Gary

Nafis Zahir
12-22-2009, 03:00 AM
Im curious of what context the religious belief of not coming in contact with a woman stems from. Is it based on the belief that his wife is the only woman he is allowed to touch, or is it based on, that a women is not superior, or equal to him, thus he is not allowed to train with or contact them. Just curious, i am ingnorant to alot of religions.

Gary


http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/21183/touching%20women

gixxergary
12-22-2009, 06:51 AM
thank you

Been there done that
12-23-2009, 06:17 PM
Alejandro, I don't think that's true. BTDT isn't saying that she dislikes RR people; she's saying that she doesn't want to so much as twitch a whisker to accommodate what she sees as discriminatory religious practices. Since the religious practices in question are in fact discriminatory against her as a woman, it's hard to claim that she doesn't have a case - just that maybe she's being a bit extreme in her refusal to accommodate special needs.

Lorien, you do not need to speak for me or explain my opinions for me. You do not need to patronize either. Thank you.

I set forth a strong argument and the best you can do is to paint me as the extremist? I think not. Accomodating the extreme is being extreme in and of itself. Extreme tolerance is not the answer to this problem. It is the problem.

Been there done that...
12-23-2009, 06:40 PM
Oh, fer cryin' out loud. Now you're making it look like Alejandro was right about you just hating Islam. The guy at Fort Hood was literally certifiable, and if extreme religiosity makes a deluded schizophrenic more likely to to on a rampage, it's not even close to limited to Islam. Remember that guy who killed the women in the gym? Motivated by Christianity. Likewise Timothy McVeigh, the guy who shot all of those little Amish girls, and the Virginia Tech shooter.


Actually, Major Hasan was not certifiable. He had never served overseas and did not have PTSD like some people would like for you to think. He was actually being investigated by the FBI. He had given a power point about Muslims can't serve in the military during a medical conferences when he should have been giving a power point on a medical topic. If you dive further into this you will see that he did consider himself a Soldier of Allah and that he was doing this as an act of terrorism. He didn't go into a shopping mall or a school. He did this on a military facility and according to Islam this is a legitimate target. People were too afraid of doing anything because they were afraid of being accused of religious discrimination, thus taking PCism too far.

As long as the RR guy takes most of the lost training on himself, you shouldn't complain so loudly. He's losing a hell of a lot more training due to his handicap than you are.

This would be so if the dojo was more than half women. And, yes, I will still complain loudly even though you don't like it. Sorry, if your offended.

...That would be because they're the MAJORITY there. No, I don't think it's ok. At all. I also don't think cutting off people's heads with dull knives is ok, and I'm not going to start doing it just because they are.

But yet, you still defend the belief system. The same belief system that justifies not training with women also justifes them not only not accomodating minorities but also burning their churches, throwing acid on women, and cutting off people's heads. I'm talking about the Whabbist view of Islam where this train of thought and justification of this belief begins.

I would only agree to the extent that we should accomodate people with RR's whose problems do not affect other people's training any further than any other problematic, but accommodated, social issue (such as stinkiness) does. Sometimes the guy is so stinky that you sit out rather than train with him. Should we kick him off the mat? Sometimes the guy or gal is so out of shape that he or she has to stand aside for a moment, and nobody gets to train with him or her when that happens. Should we kick them off the mat?

What we're trying to hash out here, I guess, is just what exactly "reasonable" means in this case.

I already explained what is reasonable. Go re-read my previous posts. If you can't figure it out then I just can't keep explaining myself over and over.

Been there Done that
12-23-2009, 08:14 PM
WTF?
No, sorry - having someone decline training with you due to religious restrictions is NOT the same as being raped in the locker room. I would highly suggest that you talk to someone with experience at a rape crisis center if you think otherwise.

I don't think so. So why would that kind of logic apply here?

I have worked with rape victims. If you are familiar with working in a rape crisis center then you are familiar with the notion of "blame the victim mentality." You are demonstrating that in this case.

I am attempting to illustrate that you are blaming the woman in this case for being discrimnated against just like people like to blame a rape victim for being raped. You are offering up the same logic:

Your Logic: It must be her fault that she was discriminated against because she showed up to the dojo alone.

Blame the Victim Logic: It is the fault of the rape victim for being raped because she went to the bar alone.

No. If the two others did not show up at all, she would still be doing the same thing - practicing her stick work alone. If those two guys *don't* have religious restrictions, great! Three people get to train. But someone without religious restrictions is not going to put them aside based on 'Sensei Says.'

No. She would get to train with the instructor. Yes, the instructor would train with her when his fellow bretheren were not in class.


"Damn, I need to find another dojo."
not
"Damn, these guys really need to accommodate me."
Because if the people with religious restrictions outnumber those without, it is the latter that are being 'accommodated.'

You are just wrong here. Despite this issue, we train at a pretty darn good dojo. I'm not going to leave to train at a podunk hole in the wall dojo with mediocre instruction because 3 people out of 120 do want to not train with me. That's just ridiculous.

The men also have another accomodation. The men with RR already have a place where they can train while applying their belief systems. They have there own aikido club at their mosque, where they set their own rules. Guess what one of their rules are? Women are not allowed to practice aikido at all.

And they are more than welcome to practice this in their mosque. They are more than welcome to apply the laws of Sharia in their own mosques and homes. But just not at my dojo.

And, you were already told by someone in this thread where those where RR outnumber those without RR - they do NOT accomodate those without RR.

Yeah, but you don't want to. You see I'm talking about legal objective reasonableness not just what a particular person subjectively believes as reasonable. Especially, how this might apply at a dojo facing possibly losing their 501(C)(3) status or facing a religious discirmination lawsuit. It is reasonable to expect a sensei to tell stinky person to clean up. And, they can't lose 501(c)(3) over it. Which makes stinky person a bad example. Same with overweight person. And it would be reasonable for a sensei to tell them to get in shape and work on their stamina. Cleanliness is part of the etiquette when you join a dojo. Getting in good shape is part of expectation of joining a dojo.

In aikido men and women train together with a lot of physical contact. It is part of the expectation of the training. And when you say I can not partake in that training because someone else with extreme religious views doesn't want to be discriminated against then I am being discriminated against, too. And that is not reasonable. A school should not feel compelled to discriminate against one group (women) in favor of another group (extreme Islamic beliefs). Thus, expectations of this is unreasonable.

I absolutely agree - for example, if there's one religious restriction guy (RR) and one no restriction guy (NR), the woman shouldn't have to sit out and never get to train; NR, to be fair, should train with both and RR will have to spend some time sitting out. But the woman will not get to train with RR no matter what happens - whether accommodations are made, or not.

Actually there are other choices. RR guy can decide join in the training with his female partners. Or, RR guy can also choose to train at his mosque dojo where his views can not just be fully accomodated but fully practiced.

What RR people are not telling you is that they can ritually cleanse themselves afterwards and that it would not be considered halal (forbidden) to train with their female partners. Actually it's considered haram (allowable) if they live in a country where their religious beliefs do not dominate. So when they are in the minority they are allowed to touch women so long as they do the ritual cleansing later on in the day. A conservative, but not extreme, Muslim would do this. A modernist Muslim would not be bothered at all. It is only when a person who holds a more extreme view will they consider it halal to touch women in the first place.

His loss. Yes, it is, but it is also the loss of the other students when you can't use him as a demo uke. I prefer to use all students in class as a demo ukes. Thus as an instructor I was affected.

Nathan Wallace
12-23-2009, 08:41 PM
I seriously doubt the problem here is inadvertant contact, such as collisions and the like. The man lives in the real world, no doubt he has inadvertant contact with women all the time. The issue here is simply one of training with women.

If there are no female instructors, and class size is not an issue, then I'm with Chris Li on this. If there are female instructors, or classes do tend to be small, then obviously his special needs are not within the dojo's ability to accomodate.

I think its hilarious you suggest he leave his religious beliefs at the door and not just not take the class. Restricting your training to one sex is not true Aikido though they may try to call it such. However I would not abandon the principles of Aikido or my own faith so the best thing is the two stay the hell away from each other. If your religion has restrictions that affect Aikido training don't train in Aikido. Simple.

"I would only agree to the extent that we should accomodate people with RR's whose problems do not affect other people's training any further than any other problematic, but accommodated, social issue (such as stinkiness) does. Sometimes the guy is so stinky that you sit out rather than train with him. Should we kick him off the mat? Sometimes the guy or gal is so out of shape that he or she has to stand aside for a moment, and nobody gets to train with him or her when that happens. Should we kick them off the mat?

What we're trying to hash out here, I guess, is just what exactly "reasonable" means in this case."

I would absolutely expel someone from my dojo who was a disruption because of their own faults. When we are training we are training not catching our breathe, when coming in to practice bathe your self and brush your teeth and trim your finger nails and keep a clean uniform. I expect an effort and and apology when expectations aren't met. However I am very stubborn and probably a little off my nut.

Lorien Lowe
12-24-2009, 04:59 PM
Actually, Major Hasan was not certifiable. He had never served overseas and did not have PTSD like some people would like for you to think.

I didn't say I thought that Hasan, or any of the other religious nutcases I cited, had PTSD. I know all about his past and his poor work history, etc. I think he was schizophrenic. All of the other religious nutcases I cited also thought they were going after religious targets; the Virginia Tech shooter saw himself as a christ-like figure, and the health club shooter decided that he was 'pre-forgiven' for his actions, and so could do whatever he wanted.

Sorry, if your offended.[sic]

I'm not offended. I'm disagreeing.
You're disparaging religious people, and I'm an atheist - there's nothing for me to take offense at.

But yet, you still defend the belief system.

No. I'm saying that they should be allowed to train, with limited accommodation. That is all.

The same belief system that justifies not training with women also justifes them {snip list of extremists atrocities}.

By that reasoning, we should close all dojos to people of all religions (and atheists too) because some of them use their belief systems to bulldoze people's houses, throw harmless monks and nuns in prison and torture them, burn children as witches, wage various wars, etc. We should all just stay home and practice stick from video instructions.

I have worked with rape victims. If you are familiar with working in a rape crisis center then you are familiar with the notion of "blame the victim mentality." You are demonstrating that in this case.

Excusé?
Whom am I blaming, and for what? I'm not saying that it's women's fault that some men have RRs. I'm not agreeing with the reasoning behind the RRs.

All I'm saying is that humans are difficult to work with all the time, and we are constantly making accommodations for each other. Mild RRs (such as would allow a man to train in a dojo with women, and treat them respectfully as fellow human beings, but not train with them) are just another facet of humanity that we find annoying, but tolerate in each other because we also have facets that others find annoying.

Your Logic: It must be her fault that she was discriminated against because she showed up to the dojo alone.

Huh?
When did I say that it was anyone's fault? I'm saying that she's not going to get to train, either way. It's not her fault - it's just the way the social dynamic would work out in the situation you've been describing.

Blame the Victim Logic: It is the fault of the rape victim for being raped because she went to the bar alone.

Is this how you're trying to justify your comparison of allowing men with RRs on the mat to being raped in the locker room?

No. She would get to train with the instructor. Yes, the instructor would train with her when his fellow bretheren were not in class.

She gets to train with the instructor when they're there, too - she just doesn't get as much of his or her attention.

You are just wrong here. Despite this issue, we train at a pretty darn good dojo. I'm not going to leave to train at a podunk hole in the wall dojo with mediocre instruction because 3 people out of 120 do want to not train with me. That's just ridiculous.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. You're claiming that you're being drastically harmed because "...3 people out of 120..." do not want to train with you. Suffer.

They have there own aikido club at their mosque, where they set their own rules. Guess what one of their rules are? Women are not allowed to practice aikido at all.

Have you ever asked them why they also want to train at your dojo?

You see I'm talking about legal objective reasonableness not just what a particular person subjectively believes as reasonable.

And, of course, your opinion is sooo much more objective and reasonable than mine. :)

Cleanliness is part of the etiquette when you join a dojo. Getting in good shape is part of expectation of joining a dojo.


So is training with everyone and bowing to the shomen.

A school should not feel compelled to discriminate against one group (women) in favor of another group (extreme Islamic beliefs). Thus, expectations of this is unreasonable.

I agree; however, I'm not sure that disaccommodating one group slightly, (especially when there are 117 other people willing to train with them) so that another group can benefit greatly, quite matches your 1:1 setup of discrimination above.

RR guy can decide join in the training with his female partners.

No, he can't. I'm an atheist, so I do think that religion is largely a matter of choice - but I don't expect people to just drop their entire belief system so that they can train in my dojo. Especially when they come from a religion whose fundamentalist sect (and that is what we're talking about, here) says that apostates should be killed by their own families.

Or, RR guy can also choose to train at his mosque dojo where his views can not just be fully accomodated but fully practiced.

Again, have you asked these guys *why* they don't do that? Maybe your dojo is better. Maybe the hours at your dojo are the only ones these guys can work with.

What RR people are not telling you is that they can ritually cleanse themselves afterwards and that it would not be considered halal (forbidden) to train with their female partners. Actually it's considered haram (allowable) if they live in a country where their religious beliefs do not dominate. So when they are in the minority they are allowed to touch women so long as they do the ritual cleansing later on in the day. A conservative, but not extreme, Muslim would do this. A modernist Muslim would not be bothered at all. It is only when a person who holds a more extreme view will they consider it halal to touch women in the first place.

If the only issue for these guys is having to undergo ritual cleansing later (and if that's as simple as it sounds), then yes: they should be the ones to bend a little. Since the only Muslims I've known personally were of the liberal stripe, I don't have any knowledge of that specific issue.

...it is also the loss of the other students when you can't use him as a demo uke.

And, as I said before, if he wasn't allowed to train at all, the other students still wouldn't get to see him used as a demo uke.

Lorien Lowe
12-24-2009, 05:03 PM
I would absolutely expel someone from my dojo who was a disruption because of their own faults. When we are training we are training not catching our breathe, when coming in to practice bathe your self and brush your teeth and trim your finger nails and keep a clean uniform. I expect an effort and and apology when expectations aren't met. However I am very stubborn and probably a little off my nut.

Your dojo, your rules. As long as you're equal-opportunity in your discrimination, I don't think anyone can say that you're being unfairly discriminatory.

Beenthere..donethat
01-20-2010, 06:56 PM
I didn't say I thought that Hasan, or any of the other religious nutcases I cited, had PTSD. I know all about his past and his poor work history, etc. I think he was schizophrenic. All of the other religious nutcases I cited also thought they were going after religious targets; the Virginia Tech shooter saw himself as a christ-like figure, and the health club shooter decided that he was 'pre-forgiven' for his actions, and so could do whatever he wanted.

You're disparaging religious people, and I'm an atheist - there's nothing for me to take offense at. So, now I'm disparaging someone's religion? Oh, puh-leaze. Would you defend Christianity or Judaism like this? or just Islam?

Regarding Major Hassan, the biggest difference between him and the other people you mention is that he is the only one who is actually acting according to a proper interpretation of Islam. The thing with radical Islam is that it is not contrary to what the major Islamic scholars interpret as the proper practice of Islam. However, the others had very skewed views of their own religious beliefs and are acting contrary to the religion which they just happened to belong.

I suggest you seriously look up Major Hasan and his religious beliefs - not just his employment history. He does not have schizophrenia. (I mentioned PTSD because some have used that as an excuse for his actions as well.) Google his power point presentation. It's very revealing. He was rather sane when he prepared it. He is not concocting his own view of his religion like the others who go postal in our nation.

I am not disparaging Islam by saying that the extremist views of Islam actually condone what Mr. Hasan did. He did not misinterpret Islam. The extremist views of Islam are not twisted versions of the Koran, the Hadith and Sharia Law. He was not someone going postal and just happened to follow a particular religion (like the others you mentioned).

He actually took his actions because Islam justifies violent jihad - Holy War - against U.S. soldiers. (Again, look at his Power Point presentation. He said it right in there.) Also, it was reported that Major Hassan yelled "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) before he started shooting. He considered himself a "Soldier of Allah" (It was on his business card). These are the words that Islamic terroists use. These words are not evidence of a misperception of reality, paranoia or bizarre delusions. They are a reflection of actual properly held radical Islamic beliefs.

It just that people are too afraid to say something critical of Islam, even an extreme view of the religion and people hold back and remain quiet. That is what I mean that we need to cut out the PCism regarding radical Islam.

No. I'm saying that they should be allowed to train, with limited accommodation. That is all. That is fine so long is it does not affect my training. They are welcome not to bow because it does not affect my training. I had said that over and over, but you conveniently ignore that point. However, aikido is a martial art where the sexes train together, and it is reasonable to expect all members in our Western society to train together whether male or female.

By that reasoning, we should close all dojos to people of all religions (and atheists too) because some of them use their belief systems to bulldoze people's houses, throw harmless monks and nuns in prison and torture them, burn children as witches, wage various wars, etc. We should all just stay home and practice stick from video instructions.

This is called classic slippery slope reasoning. I don't care what someone believes so long as their belief does not interfer with my training.


Whom am I blaming, and for what? I'm not saying that it's women's fault that some men have RRs. I'm not agreeing with the reasoning behind the RRs.
...AND...
When did I say that it was anyone's fault? I'm saying that she's not going to get to train, either way. It's not her fault - it's just the way the social dynamic would work out in the situation you've been describing.
...AND...
Is this how you're trying to justify your comparison of allowing men with RRs on the mat to being raped in the locker room?

Yes, I am justified in using the comparison. Often times people blame women for being raped for going someplace alone. You are trying to justify a woman getting excluded from training because she showed up someplace alone. Yes, I find that as very offensive especially in this example where the women is showing up to a class with 3:1 or 4:1 ratio RR to women. She felt excluded and felt intimidated by the situation. It should not have occurred.

Yes, you are blaming the woman for the RR of the others because she showed up to the dojo alone. You stated in a previous post: In your second case, it's not that she'd have two people to train with that she otherwise wouldn't, it's that she'd show up at the dojo alone. In order to support your position that the woman in question was not being affected by the "accomodation" of the RR you support your contention with the clause that she showed up to the dojo alone. Nope. That logic does not work. She still does not get to train when she otherwise would have if people without RR were there for those morning classes.

All I'm saying is that humans are difficult to work with all the time, and we are constantly making accommodations for each other. Mild RRs (such as would allow a man to train in a dojo with women, and treat them respectfully as fellow human beings, but not train with them) are just another facet of humanity that we find annoying, but tolerate in each other because we also have facets that others find annoying.

Yes, humans are difficult to work with, but accomodating others is a two way street. I accomodate someone and they in return accommodate me. However, the situations here is not a two way street - especially when radical Islam is invovled. It's only going one direction.

However, your statement that these restrictions are mild is the really the root of the problem. You believe that not training with women is a mild religious restriction. It's simply not. Not touching women in any form in Islam is actually a radical interpretation of Islam. It is not mild. I am not misinterpreting Islam, but rather I am describing a radical practice of Islam. It is an extreme practice. We have modernist Muslims in the dojo and they do not practice this. The prohibition against touching women is found in the hadith and Sharia Law, and it's enforcement is practiced in countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afganistan. The reason is that it is born out of the Wahhabist interpretation of Islam - which is a practice of strict adherence to a Sharia Law. Please Goggle "Wahhabi" and "Sharia Law".

She gets to train with the instructor when they're there, too - she just doesn't get as much of his or her attention. No, she doesn't. The instructor was also Muslim. When the students with the RR came he would not train with her. However, when they were not there he would. He being more of a modernist would appease the more radical by accomodating them and excluding the female student to the extent that she had no one to train with.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. You're claiming that you're being drastically harmed because "...3 people out of 120..." do not want to train with you. Suffer. LOL :) Well, it would not be an issue if I got to train with 120 people all at one time, now would it? Like I said before, the biggest problem was when we had particularly small classes in the early mornings with an average of 2 - 5 people or when we did randori/jiyuwaza or when I taught. Most class sizes when this was an issue was with about 8 people in a class, our class sizes do not usally get bigger than 12. That is enough to affect one's ability to train.

Have you ever asked them why they also want to train at your dojo?
...AND...
Again, have you asked these guys *why* they don't do that? Maybe your dojo is better. Maybe the hours at your dojo are the only ones these guys can work with. Yes. They want to be ranked in the association to which we belong. They want the credibility that comes with the name of our head instructor.

And, of course, your opinion is sooo much more objective and reasonable than mine. :) Yes, actually, I have my B.A. in International Studies with a focus in Middle East an Islam's role in the world. I also spent four years on my own accord studying Islam in consideration of converting to it; however, I did not. I have a depth of knowledge regarding the religion, and I also have a law degree so I have an understanding as to legal requirements regarding religious discrimination.

So is training with everyone and bowing to the shomen. However the stinky person is not part of a protected class of person that 501(c)(3)s and For-Profit dojos are prohibited from discriminating against. Allowing an accomodation to bowing to the shomen can be a reasonable accomodation - it does not affect my training.

I agree; however, I'm not sure that disaccommodating one group slightly, (especially when there are 117 other people willing to train with them) so that another group can benefit greatly, quite matches your 1:1 setup of discrimination above. Like I said before it was during the early morning classes and it was more like a 3:1 or 4:1 ration of RR to female. Not very welcoming now is it?

No, he can't. I'm an atheist, so I do think that religion is largely a matter of choice - but I don't expect people to just drop their entire belief system so that they can train in my dojo. Especially when they come from a religion whose fundamentalist sect (and that is what we're talking about, here) says that apostates should be killed by their own families.
...AND...
If the only issue for these guys is having to undergo ritual cleansing later (and if that's as simple as it sounds), then yes: they should be the ones to bend a little. Since the only Muslims I've known personally were of the liberal stripe, I don't have any knowledge of that specific issue.

They wouldn't be dropping their entire belief system at all. They can do the ritual purification afterwards and still be in accordance with their radical Islamic beliefs. (They just don't want you to know otherwise.) And, yes, they can bend a little. One of the four actually has chosen to do this.

Lorien Lowe
01-21-2010, 05:38 PM
So, now I'm disparaging someone's religion? Oh, puh-leaze. Would you defend Christianity or Judaism like this? or just Islam?

:rolleyes: Why is it, whenever someone of one religion feels put upon, they fall back on the 'you wouldn't criticize/support this other religion x that way!

Honey, let me say it again: I'm an atheist. I find all religions equally absurd.
The reason I'm focusing on Islam here is that the discussion has centered around the RRs of islamic students; if you go back a ways, we touched briefly on orthodox judaism as well. Given the whole thing with xians now not being able to 'front hug' each other due to potential arousal issues, it wouldn't surprise me if there are fundie xians out there with the same issues. There are 'Christian Karate' schools all over, because regular martial arts are apparently too demonic for some Christians to attend.

Regarding Major Hassan, the biggest difference between him and the other people you mention is that he is the only one who is actually acting according to a proper interpretation of Islam.

Bull. The guy who shot Dr. Tiller - another terrorist - was in perfect accordance with believers of a large proportion of xianinty. The nasties at the wesbro baptist church are acting within a 'proper' interpretation of xianity, as would be someone who killed his wife on their wedding day if she wasn't a virgin. There's a great deal of nastiness in all of the monotheisms. Xians are burning people in this day and age in Africa for supposed witchcraft - 'Proper' Islam has no monopoly on unreason.

...the others had very skewed views of their own religious beliefs and are acting contrary to the religion which they just happened to belong.

That is not accurate. Read the whole bible and you will see what I mean.

The world of the schizophrenic is generally quite logical internally; one does not have to be a raving lunatic to be schizophrenic (though it does help to identify them. I think that Hasan's PP presentation should have been a big red flag for his co-workers).

He actually took his actions because Islam justifies violent jihad - Holy War - against U.S. soldiers.

His Version of Islam does so. That is not the only valid version of Islam, just as the version of xianity demonstrated by anti-choice terrorists is not the only valid version of xianity (No, I don't think those folks are completely sane, either).

It just that people are too afraid to say something critical of Islam, even an extreme view of the religion and people hold back and remain quiet. That is what I mean that we need to cut out the PCism regarding radical Islam.


I AM AN ATHEIST. My very existence offends Islam, as well as believers of a plentitude of other faiths. I'd love to see the PCism towards Islam cut out - but only as long as the PCism towards every other faith is, too.

...aikido is a martial art where the sexes train together, and it is reasonable to expect all members in our Western society to train together whether male or female.

Aikido is not a 'western' martial art. It is a Japanese one. By the standards of honoring the 'traditional' ways of training, women should only sit in seiza with their knees together, should bow with their hands on their knees instead of at their sides, should not take positions of authority, etc. Aikido, like buddhism, has spread in part because it has adapted itself to the new contexts in which it finds itself.

Often times people blame women for being raped for going someplace alone. You are trying to justify a woman getting excluded from training because she showed up someplace alone.

Being raped is having an action taken directly against you. Not being able to train because you're the only one at the dojo is a lack of action. There's a pretty big difference between the two. It's not her 'fault' that she didn't get to train, it's just the way the world is: If there's no one there to train with, you don't get to train. A rapist is not a natural law; arithmatic is.

Yes, I find that as very offensive especially in this example where the women is showing up to a class with 3:1 or 4:1 ratio RR to women. She felt excluded and felt intimidated by the situation. It should not have occurred.

To quote a sempai of mine: 'The only person you have control over is yourself.' Being intimidated is an internal condition; the others have taken no action against you.

She still does not get to train when she otherwise would have if people without RR were there for those morning classes.


Excluding people with RRs does not automatically provide people without RRs.

...accomodating others is a two way street. I accomodate someone and they in return accommodate me. However, the situations here is not a two way street - especially when radical Islam is invovled. It's only going one direction.

In places without secular institutions in place, that is absolutely the case regardless of the religion. Since I don't know where your dojo is (presumably in a country or region with a very large population of radical Islamists), I cannot speak to your personal situation. What accommodation is 'reasonable' depends on the norm of the cultural setting the dojo is located in.

Please Goggle "Wahhabi" and "Sharia Law".

I am familiar with those brand of religious nastiness, thank you. Since you are as well, you probably recognize that (if these men truly do follow that severe of a brand of Islam) they probably consider their refraining from physically assaulting you for being outside of the house without being covered from head to toe and/or the explicit permission of your male 'guardian' as an accommodation to you.

The instructor was also Muslim. When the students with the RR came he would not train with her. However, when they were not there he would. He being more of a modernist would appease the more radical by accomodating them and excluding the female student to the extent that she had no one to train with.


Then there's a pretty big problem with the instructor, not just the students.

the biggest problem was when we had particularly small classes in the early mornings with an average of 2 - 5 people or when we did randori/jiyuwaza or when I taught. Most class sizes when this was an issue was with about 8 people in a class, our class sizes do not usally get bigger than 12. That is enough to affect one's ability to train.

Yes, it is - but as I have said before, eliminating those with RRs does not equal the sudden appearance of those without RRs. If those without RRs are changing their own behavior to mirror those with RRs when the latter are present (as the instructor cited above), that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

Yes. They want to be ranked in the association to which we belong. They want the credibility that comes with the name of our head instructor.

So: your dojo is better.

Yes, actually, I have my B.A. in International Studies with a focus in Middle East an Islam's role in the world. I also spent four years on my own accord studying Islam in consideration of converting to it; however, I did not. I have a depth of knowledge regarding the religion, and I also have a law degree so I have an understanding as to legal requirements regarding religious discrimination.

expertise in an area =/= objectivity in an area.

They wouldn't be dropping their entire belief system at all. They can do the ritual purification afterwards and still be in accordance with their radical Islamic beliefs. (They just don't want you to know otherwise.) And, yes, they can bend a little. One of the four actually has chosen to do this.

Like I said, if a bath (assuming first, that lack of water is not a serious inhibitor of bathing and second, that this cleansing is not some elaborate hours-long ritual) is really all that is required, then it shouldn't be an issue for the RRs. In this case, I will leave it up to your expertise that this bathing is really not a big deal.

lbb
01-22-2010, 10:27 AM
To quote a sempai of mine: 'The only person you have control over is yourself.' Being intimidated is an internal condition; the others have taken no action against you.

It strikes me as extremely disingenuous to say that someone has had no action taken against them when they join a dojo and are told that they are welcome to train there, and then others join this same dojo, refuse to train with them because of their gender, and are indulged in this behavior. How is this any different from a passenger on the bus who is willing to sit next to anyone, but who is told by the bus driver that they may only sit in certain seats because only certain passengers are willing to sit next to them? Jim Crow much?

You can't practice aikido without a partner; if you're not willing to be a partner to everyone within the limits of your ability, you need to take your delicate sensibilities elsewhere.

Lorien Lowe
01-22-2010, 03:17 PM
Your analogy is exactly reversed: she wants to sit next to someone on the bus, and is mad that some of the other riders refuse to sit by her.

Flintstone
01-23-2010, 08:27 AM
Your analogy is exactly reversed: she wants to sit next to someone on the bus, and is mad that some of the other riders refuse to sit by her.
+1

lbb
01-23-2010, 08:08 PM
Your analogy is exactly reversed: she wants to sit next to someone on the bus, and is mad that some of the other riders refuse to sit by her.

They must run city buses differently where you come from. Where I come from, if there's an empty seat on the bus, anyone can sit down in it. If the person in the next seat doesn't want to sit next to a woman, or a person of color, or a guy in a suit, that person can get up and stand, or leave the bus if they want. They can't refuse the right of another passenger to sit on that seat next to them.

If you don't like that analogy, though, how's this one? A Buddhist seeks employment as a waiter in a barbecue restaurant, and after being hired, demands that the restaurant stop serving meat because having to serve platters of ribs to patrons violates his religious principles. Sound reasonable? I'd say it's just as reasonable as entering a dojo, where the assumption is that everybody trains with everybody, and then demand that other people's training change to accommodate you.

Amir Krause
01-24-2010, 10:23 AM
No, she doesn't. The instructor was also Muslim. When the students with the RR came he would not train with her. However, when they were not there he would. He being more of a modernist would appease the more radical by accomodating them and excluding the female student to the extent that she had no one to train with.


I believe this is the main difference between my opinion and my experience and your opinion and experience.

Where I train, a RR (Jewish if it matters) was admitted to the class, he was accommodated to not train with Women, but all the others did train with the women. His restrictions were respected, but not on the expense of others. If he thought there is some problem in some situation, he was the one left sitting on the side, not any of the woman (unless one of them wanted to rest, and took his existence as an excuse; but this was their choice, not his).

What you are describing in this quote is not the same, this is the Sensei\Sempai restricting the women once other people (RR) are there. Personally I condemn your sensei behavior in this matter. In my opinion and belief (as an Atheist \ non believer of Jewish descent myself) your Sensei should had admitted the RR people, he should had also allowed them not to train with Woman. But, he must not make any additional accommodations for them. He must not stop training with you because of their presence, not to speak of letting any other (non RR) person exclude you from his practice. That was discriminatory!

Amir

Kevin Leavitt
01-24-2010, 10:54 AM
I side with Mary on this one. In my dojo it would be open to my values that everyone with everyone else regardless of sex, creed, or religion etc. If you cannot do this based on your Religious Restrictions then there are other dojos to search for.

I would not draw the same conclusion in a restaurant in which one chooses to not eat meat based on religious restriction. As a vegetarian with a philosophical and religious restriction against eating meat I will go to restuarants and not eat meat.

I would not draw the same parallel as my choice has no impact on my fellow diners. I can participate fully in the conversation and dining experience with them.

In a Dojo in Virginia, USA...religious restrictions would be disruptive to the majority of the student base. This is why I make this statement.

In another culture or country, I could see segregation being just fine as it might be the cultural norm. Not so where I live.

Just as if I went to a all meat restaurant where everything was made with animal products and I insisted or expected that they change the menu for me, and it then became disruptive others experience.

There is a reason I don't go to Outback Steakhouse or Ruth Chris'!

Toby Threadgill
02-01-2010, 03:15 PM
Hi,

Leading a koryu I've run into this problem and its pretty simple with us. The student adjusts to the dictates of dojo. The dojo does not adjust to the dictates of the student. If you don't like the rules, fine. Go somewhere else, and don't let the door hit your @$$ on the way out.

I will not tolerate students trying to dictate how a TSYR dojo operates. We are koryu. We have time honored traditions that are not negotiable. We once had a female student who insisted that the opening Shinto prayers were offensive to her newly found Christian sensibilities, and should therefore cease. After unsuccessfully trying to reason with her Takamura sensei finally led her to the door and literally booted her out with the bottom of his foot. Immediately following this was the first time I witnessed the formal ceremony of expulsion (hamon).

In modern a dojo where a student might feel training is some sort of commodity, I suppose catering to students sensitivities might be considered acceptable. However, in a koryu dojo the schools knowledge is seen as a sacred trust where martial & cultural traditions trump individual dictates. When cultures or religious beliefs clash in Nihon koryu dojo, the student conforms or leaves. Like I said....It's very simple.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Toby Threadgill
02-01-2010, 07:00 PM
Aikido is not a 'western' martial art. It is a Japanese one. By the standards of honoring the 'traditional' ways of training, women should only sit in seiza with their knees together, should bow with their hands on their knees instead of at their sides, should not take positions of authority, etc. Aikido, like buddhism, has spread in part because it has adapted itself to the new contexts in which it finds itself.

Lorien,

I know this is a bit off topic but I take exception to this sweeping generalization of yours. I will not deny that in greater Japanese society woman have many sexist challenges to confront, but an investigation of the "traditional ways" in Japanese koryu culture will reveal the existence of women headmasters thru many years that have been held, and remain held in very high esteem.

Tobari Kazu, headmistress of a line of Shin no Shindo ryu jujutsu and Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu was a good friend of my teacher and did not sit in seiza like some submissive geisha. She sat and carried herself like any headmaster of a classical jujutsu school. Takamura sensei had the most profound respect for her and took ukemi from her on several occasions. Her students included a stable of very powerful and impressive judoka that would not have been the least bit interested in her teaching had she not demonstrated the tenaciousness commensurate with her position as a koryu headmaster. I also met Nitta Suzuyo, headmaster of Toda ha Buko ryu, in Tokyo in 1994. Her students included people like Ellis Amdur and Meik Skoss. Ellis once told me she could be one of the most harsh and brutally demanding teachers he'd ever met. Imagine this barely 5 foot tall women dressing down 6' 9" Ellis Amdur and you get a picture of quite an amazing woman. Then there is the Tendo ryu, the Higo Koryu, Yoshin ryu and the Jikishinkage ryu schools of naginatajutsu....(Although the Yoshin ryu can be a bit foo fooey) All led by women who are hardly the picture of a dainty and submissive female.

To infer that aikido has adapted egalitarian ideals due to cultural realities outside Japan my be specifically true in some cases but it is not necessarily accurate in relation to the greater Japanese martial culture in the manner implied in your above statement.

(I hope this info makes you all warm and fuzzy.)

;)

Respectfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Lorien Lowe
02-01-2010, 09:07 PM
Lorien,

I know this is a bit off topic but I take exception to this sweeping generalization of yours. I will not deny that in greater Japanese society woman have many sexist challenges to confront, but an investigation of the "traditional ways" in Japanese koryu culture will reveal the existence of women headmasters thru many years that have been held, and remain held in very high esteem.
...
To infer that aikido has adapted egalitarian ideals due to cultural realities outside Japan my be specifically true in some cases but it is not necessarily accurate in relation to the greater Japanese martial culture in the manner implied in your above statement.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Toby,
I based my statement on the story of one of my teachers, who (among other issues) went to Japan to train with our dojo-cho a couple of years ago. At one dojo, she repeatedly had a man try to (physically, with his hands) force her to sit with her knees together during kokyu-ho - a less stable position than sitting with the base in a triangle.

I am glad to hear from you that such experiences are not representative.

WilliB
03-08-2010, 08:16 AM
http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/21183/touching%20women

The question is why, if he was such a literate believer, would be in the company of all these infidels and infidel, uncovered women in the first place. And lo and behold, there might even be homosexuals in the dojo, who, according to Sharia, deserve death by stoning.

Note also that moderate muslims (the ones who we should support) do not take all these koranic instructions literally.

Once you do, there is no end to it. It is a straight road to 14th century Arabian lifestyle.

Choice
02-06-2013, 09:00 PM
Race is not a choice.
Gender is not a choice.
Sexuality is not a choice.
Disability is not a choice.
Religion however is a right of choice.
Religion being used as a tool for discrimination is a choice no one has the right to.
And yet there it is again..
Why am I expected to respect his choice, when it is his choice to discriminate against me based on my gender?

vieq
01-06-2017, 06:45 AM
Can women practice aikido in countries like Iran or Egypt?

Sorry to UP an old post, but to answer you .. yes they do I can grab some recent/old youtube clips to support my claims :)

vieq
01-06-2017, 06:49 AM
I'd still love to hear from muslims on this issue. I can understand you not wanting to post in this thread as it has pretty much devolved. So please feel free to send me a private message.

Over here in Egypt are two teams, one that changed the way of bowing to each other and O'Sensi's pic with slight leaning forward with the right hand of the chest as a gesture of greeting without being called bowing to one another, females and males alike.

The other team just do it the old classic way except they keep their eyes forward facing each other, not entirely bowing in this state, females and males alike.

The only noticeable thing about clothing, females tend to wear their Gi as they would with any other form of clothing, they wear Hijab or they don't

Other than that, its just all about practicing :)

giriasis
05-05-2017, 02:02 PM
Over here in Egypt are two teams, one that changed the way of bowing to each other and O'Sensi's pic with slight leaning forward with the right hand of the chest as a gesture of greeting without being called bowing to one another, females and males alike.

The other team just do it the old classic way except they keep their eyes forward facing each other, not entirely bowing in this state, females and males alike.

The only noticeable thing about clothing, females tend to wear their Gi as they would with any other form of clothing, they wear Hijab or they don't

Other than that, its just all about practicing :)

Thank you for sharing. Places where I have trained there are a few Muslims and most are in the second camp. The one who is in the first camp still trains and recently took his sandan test. I think the key for my sensei was the acknowledgment of showing respect during the bow-in for the test to pause in acknowledgment towards O-Sensei, the testing committee, and his ukes.

But, yes, all in all its just about practicing.

Currawong
05-06-2017, 08:41 AM
Years ago when I was training at my original dojo at a university, a member quit because he had just become Christian and was told that he shouldn't bow towards O'Sensei. I thought about this for some time and realised the thing to do was suggest to such a person that they are bowing to God, and that O'Sensei's picture is just there to remind them to hold the highest ideals.