I agree with you Joe! Aikido is a Japanes art that has spread around the globe to different cultures. We have to seperate the 'art' from the culture. I hope to have my own dojo one day, and when I do, this will not be an issue. I would gladly respect anyone's religious restrictions. That doesn't mean they get to train the way they want. It only means that they don't have to do anything they don't want to do if it goes against their religion. It's not a hard thing to do and it really is no big deal.
If one is willing to train with others who have phsyical limitations (i.e. Janet's experience with an autistic student), then one should also be a little open to accomodating cultural/religious limitations. I would expect the actual dojo dynamics of having an autistic student in the class to be far more "disruptive" than having someone who feels uncomortable bowing or practicing with the opposite sex.
Of course, the *reasonable* accomodation rule applies - a small all male dojo would have a hard time accomodating a woman who wished to train only with other women.
That said - isn't this dejavu all over again? Here is another ultimately fruitless thread on the exact same topic....