Anne Marie Giri wrote:
I think the key is to try and understand where they might be coming from and offer some warmth and acceptance. I think too many people are jumping to conclusions as if they will get a deluge of Muslims whose orthodox practices require them (Its NOT a choice) to not touch the opposite gender, unless a spouse. And cause a serious strain on the dojo. One person is all we're talking about here -- not a group. Although, he is a part of the group. It looked like he was the only person not training with women.
I am in agreement with Michael here, how devout a person is with their religion IS a choice. If it wasn't all people of a particular faith would behave in exactly the same way, and that is obviously not what happens. The list of religious practices that require particular behaviours is very long, and we would be here for ages listing all the common transgressions.
I hope the original poster and the devout prospective student have found some way of working things out. Meanwhile the rest of us can discuss the issue, until we chose not to.