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Old 03-17-2006, 01:06 PM   #62
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,220
United Kingdom
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

As for using religious beliefs to justify hatred of others, I will not tolerate this either
We in the west do tolerate this religious hatred even if you as an individual do not.

Not long ago a Dutch film maker was murdered for daring to make a film that showed muslims in a light that some found 'unacceptable' enough to kill the director. The film was based on the material supplied by an ethiopian muslim woman and her feeling that the islamic faith supports the degradation of women. She is now under 24hr police protection as there is a fatwa out on her life. I'm not sure what else the Dutch can do, but by doing nothing to bring the "beliefs that allow this sort of thing to happen" it is a form of tolerance.
In the UK recently during the protests over the Danish cartoons the demonstrators were carrying placards that called for the murder, annihalation, beheading of those who insult islam. in a country where laws have been passed to expressly forbid the stirring up of religious hatred, not one of the demonstrators have been brought to book. This is also a tolerance, as to come down hard on this particular minority may inflame the situation further.
We as citizens of these countries have no choice but to tolerate this hatred, and hope that over time things will not get worse than they already are.

However this is not a situation of hatred of women, it is a restriction, this I consider a whole different thing.
This particular case may not be about the hatred of women, but you have to look at where and why these religious restrictions came into being. IMHO they are not there because the women are seen as equal to men, quite the contrary. 'If' a religion does not treat women as equal to men then maybe the fault (if you see it as that) lies within the belief system itself. Does god discriminate? I don't know as I have no acces to the mind of god, if god exists at all. If god does not discriminate then it must be the 'men' (and my guess is that they are almost all men) who wrote the books that underpin the religion.
Passing down 'restrictions' on what can and can't be done, if not a direct directive from god are a man made manifestation of the use of power over others.
Freedom of worship is rightly inherent in a free society, people are free to believe any weird idea that they want (and they do!) and we should defend this right. however if these ideas start affecting those that do not share their particular brand of belief, then they need to be open to others not wanting to 'accomodate' their particular branch of weirdness.

I would invite anyone from any religion to come and practice with me, but by accepting an invitation into my dojo you need to accept the basic tenets inherent in our system, to do otherwise is disrespectful.


Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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