The closing of the academic space
It's sad to hear that Harvard University has changed its gym policy to accomodate the demands of its Islamic Society. Abe Greenwald quotes a local student paper as saying some athletic facilities now bar men at certain hours in order to cater to the sensibilities of Muslim women.
Men have not been allowed to enter the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center during certain times since Jan. 28, after members of the Harvard Islamic Society and the Harvard Women’s Center petitioned the university for a more comfortable environment for women.
Harvard Islamic Society’s Islamic Knowledge Committee officer Ola Aljawhary, a junior, said the women-only hours are being tested on a trial basis. The special gym hours will be analyzed over Spring Break to determine if they will continue, she said. ...
Harvard junior Nick Wells said he believes the women-only hours are inconvenient for the residents that live near the facility and discriminate against men. "It is unfair to impose a stringent policy that inhibits [students] from using their own facility in order to further a useless policy that doesn't have any real effect," he said.
Students have a right to use common gym facilities at all the hours they are open. If the Islamic Society is uncomfortable using the gym facilities in the time-honored manner they can always raise money to build their own private, Muslim-only gym.
Multiculturalism has become its parody, Balkanization.