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Accomodation Gone Wild: Teacher puts “all the women on one side and then offers a side for the Muslim man so there wouldn’t be any problems”


“I felt degraded, discriminated against, I felt like a woman in the 1950s,” said Sonja Power, 17, a former student at Halifax’s East Coast Yoshinkan Aikido, a school operated out of the city’s Lakeside Community Centre. “We wouldn’t allow someone using their religion to discriminate against someone’s race, so why would they use it to discriminate against somebody’s gender?

In the spring of 2012, Ms. Power, then 15, was just on the verge of earning her aikido black belt when she said a man enrolled at the school and told its owner that, for reasons of his Islamic faith, he was not allowed physical contact with women.

The school’s sensei (teacher), “would put all the women on one side and then offer a side for the Muslim man so there wouldn’t be any problems,” she said.

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