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Moonlight Graham

Accommodating male/female segregation for Muslims?

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I saw this case of at the University of Regina:

After recent reports that boys and girls were segregated for swimming at a University of Regina-run summer camp, one online group’s use of the term ‘Sharia swimming’ has led a Regina imam and camp leaders to call for calm.

The controversy arose after the long-running summer camp began integrating some 14 children from Syria, after consultations with the federal government.

With the Syrian contingent being mostly Muslim, for religious reasons the boys and girls were kept separate at pool time. However, a complaint was received after non-Muslim children were also then segregated, for what the university called practical reasons.

So what do you think of this kind of accommodation? Is it "reasonable accommodation" or unreasonable?

My thoughts: There has to be a line between reasonable and unreasonable accommodation. We're obviously not going to start allowing stonings and honour-killing or female genital mutilation for the sake of "religious freedom". There needs to be a line, and IMO this crosses the line. This particular ultra-conservative belief is against Canadian values, and we shouldn't be allowing segregation based on race nor based on gender.

At some point, people from foreign cultures need to adapt to Canadian culture if they're going to live here and integrate here. It's against the freedom of the non-Muslim boys and girls to be free to associate with people of any sex.

EDIT: See my revised position on this topic.

Edited by Moonlight Graham

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We're obviously not going to start allowing stonings and honour-killing or female genital mutilation for the sake of "religious freedom".

But male genital mutilation is perfectly acceptable...

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Gender segregated bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, and sports, but not pools. That's the line, eh?

Edited by cybercoma

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Frankly I think it depends on the girls themselves. If they aren't comfortable with swimming with boys, but still want to swim...So long as it isn't an undue burden on the pool schedule I don't see a problem.

If on the otherhand, the girls are fine with it, but the pool/UoR is making assumptions for them, that isn't ok.

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I see, it's about accommodating and respecting ones religious beliefs. I thought we did away with that sort of thing when christians argued over bathroom and change room laws and were told to "just get over it".

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How are they ever going to learn to function in a modern society if we just keep letting them act like they're back in the middle ages?

-k

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I haven't read the article cause I'm about ready to leave for work, but if the OPs summary is correct, then I disagree with the decision. Things are different in Canada, and while they are kids is the best time to deliver that message. In my city, the swimming pools offer 'women only' times, and that is when the very devout females of various faiths go swimming, along with non-religious women who are just more comfortable without men in the pool.

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"In my city, the swimming pools offer 'women only' times, and that is when the very devout females of various faiths go swimming, along with non-religious women who are just more comfortable without men in the pool."

Do they offer an equivalent amount of 'men only' times?

I doubt it. We all know that women only anything is far more socially acceptable than men only anything.

Sexist women not wanting to swim with men? That's totally fine we need to protect them!

Sexist men not wanting to swim with women? Let's laugh at the wimps.

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Frankly I think it depends on the girls themselves. If they aren't comfortable with swimming with boys, but still want to swim...So long as it isn't an undue burden on the pool schedule I don't see a problem.

If on the otherhand, the girls are fine with it, but the pool/UoR is making assumptions for them, that isn't ok.

This has nothing to do with the kids making a decision. Throw a bunch of kids into a swimming pool in the summer and they will play with each other and have fun. This has to do with accommodating the parents religious wishes, it's the enforcement of perceived diversity through exclusion by the university.

Maybe we should have all the kids recite the lord's prayer at the beginning of each day as well before going off to play.

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We already have "reasonable accommodation" in single gender schools in Canada - for resident Canadians. We have many boys only or girls only schools so what is the big deal with segregating by sex for swimming?

http://www.canadianfamily.ca/kids/baby/sexed-education/

There is a difference between voluntary and mandatory. There is a difference between making a decision, and having a decision made for you.

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Frankly I think it depends on the girls themselves. If they aren't comfortable with swimming with boys, but still want to swim...So long as it isn't an undue burden on the pool schedule I don't see a problem.

If on the otherhand, the girls are fine with it, but the pool/UoR is making assumptions for them, that isn't ok.

It's more like the Muslim parents aren't fine with it and the organization then segregating not only their kids but other people's kids too.

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But male genital mutilation is perfectly acceptable...

I usually don't respond to your men's right's rantings with outright derision. But please don't tell me you think male circumcision is some sort of sexual abuse on male infants. That's such an extreme position.

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There is a difference between voluntary and mandatory. There is a difference between making a decision, and having a decision made for you.

There is also a difference between accommodating Canadian values and trying to enforce racist policies.

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There is also a difference between accommodating Canadian values and trying to enforce racist policies.

Are you saying it's racist to say that girls and boys should be integrated when accessing a public service?

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I usually don't respond to your men's right's rantings with outright derision. But please don't tell me you think male circumcision is some sort of sexual abuse on male infants. That's such an extreme position.

Male infant genital mutilation is wrong and should be banned. There is no consent. I'm fine with people mutilating their genitals, but only if their is consent.

And it's not an extreme position. It's the moral position. The extreme position is the idea that mutilating the genitals of infants without consent is justified.

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Male infant genital mutilation is wrong and should be banned. There is no consent. I'm fine with people mutilating their genitals, but only if their is consent.

And it's not an extreme position. It's the moral position. The extreme position is the idea that mutilating the genitals of infants without consent is justified.

It's an extreme position. There are documented medical benefits to circumcision and very few, if any, medical complications associated with the practice.

It's only precious men with parent issues that object to having it done in hindsight.

Edited by Boges

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These are publicly funded schools.

All the boys or girls only schools I know of are private schools. They receive some public funding because the parents pay school taxes. They are also required to be non profit.

Edited by Wilber

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It's an extreme position. There are documented medical benefits to circumcision and very few, if any, medical complications associated with the practice.

Documented by who? People with an agenda and confirmation bias? Interestingly, the European medical community tends to have quite a different view.

And if an individual wants these 'medical benefits', they they can consent to it when they are old enough.

Btw, there is evidence that castration leads to the medical benefit of longer life. Should it therefore be legal for parents to castrate baby boys?

It's only precious men with parent issues that object to having it done in hindsight.

Or people that care about equality and/or consent.

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There is also a difference between accommodating Canadian values and trying to enforce racist policies.

What is racist about kids playing together regardless of gender? What about when the Muslim parents don't want their boys to be integrated with gay kids? Should we then segregate boys, girls and gay kids into separate groups?

No crazy religious ideologies should be accommodated, regardless of their religion. We, as a society, should not encourage misogyny.

Edited by The_Squid

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Or people that care about equality and/or consent.

There are all kinds of things that are done to/for babies/children without their consent or informed consent. All kinds of medical procedures, vaccines, tests. Being required to go to school. Or even being brought into existence in the first place, where was their consent for that? Circumcision is a procedure which is generally safe and so it is hard to argue that there is something special about it that would make it not allowed for parents to do to their children, while many other things are allowed. Much more harmful, for example, would be inflicting religion on a young impressionable mind, and yet that is allowed.

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Documented by who? People with an agenda and confirmation bias? Interestingly, the European medical community tends to have quite a different view.

Like the Mayo Clinic? http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/circumcision/basics/why-its-done/prc-20013585

And if an individual wants these 'medical benefits', they they can consent to it when they are old enough.

Except, for adults, the associated pain with the procedure makes something no one would do (Unless they really wanted to marry a Jewish girl). But an infant doesn't experience the same pain and even if they did, wouldn't remember it into sentients.

Btw, there is evidence that castration leads to the medical benefit of longer life. Should it therefore be legal for parents to castrate baby boys?

Way to Straw man! You're associating the removal of all reproductive and sexual functionality with removing a portion of the foreskin which actually can improve sexuality and reduce transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Or people that care about equality and/or consent.

There are many things parents do to their children without their consent.

But regardless, this is huge thread drift and there is a circumcision thread on this board somewhere. I believe I have the last post in it without any credible rebuttal.

Edited by Boges

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Gender segregated bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, and sports, but not pools. That's the line, eh?

Gender segregation is normal in all kinds of areas of society. I drove nearly 50 miles a few weeks ago to play golf at a nice course in a nearby town and I couldn't play because it was "woman's night".

Gender segregation is normal and healthy. Members of both sexes enjoy having a break from each other, and that's why we have gender based clubs, events, etc, etc, etc.

Where I personally draw the line is when segregation becomes abusive, or is used to shut women OUT of a part of society. In those kind of cases remedies can be sought through the courts.

I also think that unfortunately your place in society is something you have to be proactive about... something that you to fight for. So we should have strong advocacy and support groups for muslim women, and make it very clear to them that we consider them equal to men in every way. Unfortunately this is complicated by a strong anti-muslim sentiment among many Canadians. This alienates them, and discourages them from really becoming equal members of Canadian society.

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