Tom Newhall wrote:
.... but isn't asking him to do this as a condition to training imposing your ideology on him?
Well, no. I don't think it has anything to do with imposing ideology nor is it a condition of training. If anything, bringing one's religious beliefs onto the mat and restricting the practice of one's self and of others (because the dojo now has to make accommodations) is tantamount to imposing one's ideology on the dojo and its participants.
Unless physical, emotional or mental limitations are involved here which will limit the range of one's practice and of others - which I do not believe they are - then that's a different issue.
The purpose of the practice is martial in nature. It is a reflection of life. You might be able to choose who you train with - male or female, but you certainly can't choose what life throws at you. Learn to deal with it, or don't.
How would he feel if the tables were turned - no one will train with him because he is not of the right color, sex and religion.
Turn the argument around. Does the religion consider female bodily contact in a martial context "unnecessary"? If it is, then it should apply to any body contact martial art and co-ed contact sport - not just aikido. The issue is not with aikido or the dojo.
And it certainly has nothing to do with ideology or discrimination on religious grounds. Segregation and sexism means the same thing, whether or not is it colored by religious dogma or otherwise.