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Old 01-21-2010, 04:38 PM   #314
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
So, now I'm disparaging someone's religion? Oh, puh-leaze. Would you defend Christianity or Judaism like this? or just Islam?
Why is it, whenever someone of one religion feels put upon, they fall back on the 'you wouldn't criticize/support this other religion x that way!

Honey, let me say it again: I'm an atheist. I find all religions equally absurd.
The reason I'm focusing on Islam here is that the discussion has centered around the RRs of islamic students; if you go back a ways, we touched briefly on orthodox judaism as well. Given the whole thing with xians now not being able to 'front hug' each other due to potential arousal issues, it wouldn't surprise me if there are fundie xians out there with the same issues. There are 'Christian Karate' schools all over, because regular martial arts are apparently too demonic for some Christians to attend.

Regarding Major Hassan, the biggest difference between him and the other people you mention is that he is the only one who is actually acting according to a proper interpretation of Islam.
Bull. The guy who shot Dr. Tiller - another terrorist - was in perfect accordance with believers of a large proportion of xianinty. The nasties at the wesbro baptist church are acting within a 'proper' interpretation of xianity, as would be someone who killed his wife on their wedding day if she wasn't a virgin. There's a great deal of nastiness in all of the monotheisms. Xians are burning people in this day and age in Africa for supposed witchcraft - 'Proper' Islam has no monopoly on unreason.

...the others had very skewed views of their own religious beliefs and are acting contrary to the religion which they just happened to belong.
That is not accurate. Read the whole bible and you will see what I mean.

The world of the schizophrenic is generally quite logical internally; one does not have to be a raving lunatic to be schizophrenic (though it does help to identify them. I think that Hasan's PP presentation should have been a big red flag for his co-workers).

He actually took his actions because Islam justifies violent jihad - Holy War - against U.S. soldiers.
His Version of Islam does so. That is not the only valid version of Islam, just as the version of xianity demonstrated by anti-choice terrorists is not the only valid version of xianity (No, I don't think those folks are completely sane, either).

It just that people are too afraid to say something critical of Islam, even an extreme view of the religion and people hold back and remain quiet. That is what I mean that we need to cut out the PCism regarding radical Islam.
I AM AN ATHEIST. My very existence offends Islam, as well as believers of a plentitude of other faiths. I'd love to see the PCism towards Islam cut out - but only as long as the PCism towards every other faith is, too.

...aikido is a martial art where the sexes train together, and it is reasonable to expect all members in our Western society to train together whether male or female.
Aikido is not a 'western' martial art. It is a Japanese one. By the standards of honoring the 'traditional' ways of training, women should only sit in seiza with their knees together, should bow with their hands on their knees instead of at their sides, should not take positions of authority, etc. Aikido, like buddhism, has spread in part because it has adapted itself to the new contexts in which it finds itself.

Often times people blame women for being raped for going someplace alone. You are trying to justify a woman getting excluded from training because she showed up someplace alone.
Being raped is having an action taken directly against you. Not being able to train because you're the only one at the dojo is a lack of action. There's a pretty big difference between the two. It's not her 'fault' that she didn't get to train, it's just the way the world is: If there's no one there to train with, you don't get to train. A rapist is not a natural law; arithmatic is.

Yes, I find that as very offensive especially in this example where the women is showing up to a class with 3:1 or 4:1 ratio RR to women. She felt excluded and felt intimidated by the situation. It should not have occurred.
To quote a sempai of mine: 'The only person you have control over is yourself.' Being intimidated is an internal condition; the others have taken no action against you.

She still does not get to train when she otherwise would have if people without RR were there for those morning classes.
Excluding people with RRs does not automatically provide people without RRs.

...accomodating others is a two way street. I accomodate someone and they in return accommodate me. However, the situations here is not a two way street - especially when radical Islam is invovled. It's only going one direction.
In places without secular institutions in place, that is absolutely the case regardless of the religion. Since I don't know where your dojo is (presumably in a country or region with a very large population of radical Islamists), I cannot speak to your personal situation. What accommodation is 'reasonable' depends on the norm of the cultural setting the dojo is located in.

Please Goggle "Wahhabi" and "Sharia Law".
I am familiar with those brand of religious nastiness, thank you. Since you are as well, you probably recognize that (if these men truly do follow that severe of a brand of Islam) they probably consider their refraining from physically assaulting you for being outside of the house without being covered from head to toe and/or the explicit permission of your male 'guardian' as an accommodation to you.

The instructor was also Muslim. When the students with the RR came he would not train with her. However, when they were not there he would. He being more of a modernist would appease the more radical by accomodating them and excluding the female student to the extent that she had no one to train with.
Then there's a pretty big problem with the instructor, not just the students.

the biggest problem was when we had particularly small classes in the early mornings with an average of 2 - 5 people or when we did randori/jiyuwaza or when I taught. Most class sizes when this was an issue was with about 8 people in a class, our class sizes do not usally get bigger than 12. That is enough to affect one's ability to train.
Yes, it is - but as I have said before, eliminating those with RRs does not equal the sudden appearance of those without RRs. If those without RRs are changing their own behavior to mirror those with RRs when the latter are present (as the instructor cited above), that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

Yes. They want to be ranked in the association to which we belong. They want the credibility that comes with the name of our head instructor

So: your dojo is better.

Yes, actually, I have my B.A. in International Studies with a focus in Middle East an Islam's role in the world. I also spent four years on my own accord studying Islam in consideration of converting to it; however, I did not. I have a depth of knowledge regarding the religion, and I also have a law degree so I have an understanding as to legal requirements regarding religious discrimination.
expertise in an area =/= objectivity in an area.

They wouldn't be dropping their entire belief system at all. They can do the ritual purification afterwards and still be in accordance with their radical Islamic beliefs. (They just don't want you to know otherwise.) And, yes, they can bend a little. One of the four actually has chosen to do this.
Like I said, if a bath (assuming first, that lack of water is not a serious inhibitor of bathing and second, that this cleansing is not some elaborate hours-long ritual) is really all that is required, then it shouldn't be an issue for the RRs. In this case, I will leave it up to your expertise that this bathing is really not a big deal.
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