Re: Teacher OKs "Avoid[ing] touching females on religious grounds"
Many good points being made here. Personally, I respect people who act according to their beliefs or the dictates of their conscience...but I don't think that excuses them from consequences. You're a white person who doesn't want to sit at the same lunch counter with a person of color? Find yourself another place to eat (and be prepared to keep moving on). You're a pharmacist who doesn't want to dispense a legal and prescribed medication? Find another line of work where you don't have to do that. In the United States, conscientious objectors have been excused from taking up arms in military service, but they weren't excused from service period, and many have served at great risk and with great distinction. I think the same reasoning applies here. You don't want to train with women? You get to be the last one picked, not the first. Others are willing to train with everyone in the dojo: after they have all paired up, if there's a man left who's willing to work with you, all righty. If not...you get to sit out.
It also occurs to me, much as I share Jon's dislike at the sensei's failure to take responsibility, is that this may have been the death of a thousand cuts: that the guy came in with no stated issues, and as time went on, "Oh I can't do this, it's against my religion" "Oh I can't do that, it's against my religion". That's the way some people foist their issues on others.