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Old 03-17-2006, 02:28 PM   #67
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I understand a lot of what you say Mark, and some of it I can't disagree with. But I do have to wonder just where some of the lines are drawn, and on what basis.

a) Not all followers of Islam adhere to the stricture mentioned in the first post.

b) Many 'traditional' religions have or had at one time a prohibition against casual contact with females...or with females during that 'time of the month'. Judaism and Christianity might very well both qualify here...in part or in whole, depending on what time period is discussed.

c) Many strictures and customs attributed to Islam are actually beliefs / customs held over from animist and other traditional religious practices that were in place before Islam. I believe the radical form of female circumcism practiced in Somalia is one of these. It is now attributed (incorrectly) to Islam. [someone please correct me on this if I remember incorrectly]

So some of these things are kind of hard to attribute to all of Islam, or only Islam. Personally, I think in early societies religion often acted as a prophylactic on social and medical issues. So you have prohibitions against foods that are more likely to cause illness in certain places (shellfish, pork), you have prohibitions against promiscuous behavior (venereal disease, distraction from the desired social unit), etc. I think in general, as it was men making the rules, women got the worst of these strictures where they were adversely affected by them.

Hopefully now people can adhere to their faith, without bringing along any negative baggage (as seen from the outside anyway). Unfortunately, we still seem to have a long way to go. Personally, I guess I'd try to let the man train, as long as he understood that

a) aikido is best learned by training with as many body types as are available, and
b) if his training caused too much disruption in the dojo for any reason, he could change, or leave.

Best,
Ron

PS Hi Jun, just saw your request after I posted...If any of this does not belong here, feel free to move it.

Thanks,
R
Thanks for the post Ron, and I appreciate the balancing effect it has had on my little rant.

I only used the example of islam in referrence to tolerance of religious hatred. I am aware that it may seem that I am lumping all muslims in with the actions of a few. I do not mean to do that, although it I'm sure can be taken that way.

The vast majority of people who belong to any religion are peaceful people only wanting the best for themselves and their nearest and dearest. They happily live in multi faith situations and even us atheists are tolerated.

The history and source of religious practice does belong on another thread, but my points about dubious 'cultural' practises does have a thin tenuous link ( I hope)

to re quote you above: "I think in general, as it was men making the rules, women got the worst of these strictures where they were adversely affected by them." This is still the case for many women.

Cheers,
Mark

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