Last week, the Muslim Students' Association and the University opened up "Sisters' Splash," a female-only hour at the pool. Every week, GW plans to close the HelWell pool to men and will cover the glass door with a dark tarp, giving female Muslim students the chance to swim at their leisure. The University also hired a female lifeguard to be on duty for each week's event. . . Rahiba Noor, a junior who serves as the community service chair of the MSA, said that prior to attending GW, swimming laps at a private pool was an important part of her health regimen. At school, however, Noor said she's resigned herself to staying away from the water and using a treadmill. "Religious values always define us," Noor said. "Although I wouldn't really mind, it would be satisfying to me religiously to swim only with girls."I imagine that the next step will be to create male-only classes to satisfy religiously those students who don't want to be offended by female presence in the classroom. This kind of insanity is always unleashed whenever we allow people's personal religious preferences to dominate public spaces.
And then people come here asking me why I'm in favor of niqabs, burqas and Co being outlawed in public spaces in this country. Unless this pandering to any kind of religious fanaticism stops, I can envision the day when I will be required to put on a burqa to teach my classes because my Western clothes might be found offensive by some pseudo-religios fool.