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Old 01-08-2009, 06:57 PM   #123
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
But doesn't his beliefs-accommodating to them- over ride your culture, your beliefs, and your rights as a women? Why surrender them to him. If the guy, any guy has issue with a woman instructor, he either gets with the program or really needs to walk. This is America 2009 ,people from other countries who come here must also observe, and respect our culture and beliefs. Women are not cattle here.
Women are no longer chattel (that is property). We are have never been cattle (the livestock).

I live in South Florida and we have a large immigrant population, thus we are a very diverse population. We are not a monolithic "American" culture down here.

Also, how do you know the person I'm talking about is not a citizen born in the U.S.? There ARE native born Americans who convert to Islam. And that is part of the case, here. It just so happens the person who will not train with women in our dojo is a native born American not a foreign national. It's our foreign national friend who will train with me.

Respect goes both ways. By showing respect for his beliefs, he shows respect for my right to train with men...and he trains with me. Of the three that started in my dojo, he's the only one who trains at our dojo. Two of them do not train in our dojo anymore, just at their mosque aikido club. The one who trains with me and who has stayed in our dojo is an Egyptian national; the one who won't is an American convert. Go figure.

Also, the key word here is "reasonable" not just any accomodation. And forget whether someone gets sued or not. Anyone can try to sue for anything - it doesn't mean that they have leg to stand on though. It's just a matter of common decency and respect really. Schools do not need to go to extraordinary lengths but I don't think we should be a doormat to the PCism either. And that is not what I'm advocating either.

Like my direct experience, they will either stick around and find a way to train in a dojo with women and without conflicting his beliefs or they don't and find another alternative and that alternative exists for them - their male-only aikido classes at their mosque.

Anne Marie Giri
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