Power’s mother said that “the sensei told her to ‘get used to’ gender separation in Canada.” Where are the feminists? They have nothing to say about this? Does “multiculturalism,” i.e., accommodation of Islamic supremacism, once again trump the equality of rights and dignity of women, even among the self-proclaimed defenders of women’s rights?
“Halifax martial arts class separated by gender to accommodate Muslim man,” by Kris Sims for QMI Agency, January 15 (thanks to Mike):
HALIFAX — Politicians are scrambling to put a brave face on an ugly situation at a Halifax recreation centre.
Sonja Power, 17, was on the cusp of earning her black belt in Aikido at a Halifax dojo when a new man joined the class. He refused to be in contact with women or to spar with any of the female students.
Power and the other women were told to stay on one side of the room and not to approach the Muslim man to respect his faith.
“I felt like a second class citizen, that I was so disgusting and unworthy that this man doesn’t even want to interact with me,” Power told QMI Agency. “It doesn’t make any sense, why would something you choose, your religion, trump something I’m born with, my gender, we wouldn’t let a religion trump someone’s race.”
The incident happened more than a year ago and Power’s mother, Michele Walsh, said she has contacted every level of government but was ignored. She said the sensei told her to “get used to” gender separation in Canada.
A similar situation at York University reignited the issue.
“I don’t think anybody’s rights should be trampled, so as a person of faith and as a woman I would be offended by this on both sides,” said Candice Bergen, minister of state for Social Development speaking in Halifax. “We’ve seen organizations across the country for decades being able to (compromise) there’s no reason this organization and this individual not to be able to do that.”
Religion and gender are both protected human rights.
The City of Halifax, which owns the recreation centre, refused to comment citing privacy concerns, but said the city tries to work out human rights concerns between the parties.