One of the widely recognized tenets of Islam is a notion of modesty among women in the faith. Muslim females are commonly garbed in head scarves and full body coverings meant to prevent men from seeing too much of their flesh.
Naturally, water sports in particular present a problem for practitioners of the religion, which has been resolved in many communities by prohibiting women from swimming in front of men. When two Muslim women in Tuckwilla, Wash. realized the city’s public pool did not cater to them at the exclusion of everyone else, they complained.
Instead of explaining that the pool is a resource for the community as a whole, management decided to offer female-only swimming hours. Furthermore, during these times, all windows of any type are covered so no passersby can catch a glimpse of the swimmers.
One of the complainants, Jamila Farole, appeared before the Tuckwilla city council recently to explain her belief that “men and women are not to mix together” is a “commandment from God.”
While Christians complaining of unfair treatment under the law are generally disregarded, these two women were successful in achieving a 90-minute standing reservation each Sunday at the city pool.
In an effort to maintain some semblance of impartiality, the pool also offers a time during which only men may use the pool. Unsurprisingly, the unsolicited opportunity has thus far failed to catch on among the city’s male population.
It is telling that the radical left insists on removing faith out of virtually any policy decision – with the notable exception of Islam. As a result of this latest accommodation, many locals are actively campaigning against the decision. One resident, Robert Neuffer, has already filed his complaint with the Human Rights Commission.
He said the move is “wrong, no matter how you state it,” echoing the sentiments of many who responded to the news online.
Nevertheless, those responsible for the decision apparently see nothing wrong with it. Acquatics Coordinator Malcolm Neely said he was “not sure” if similar concessions would be made for those of another faith.
Our founders realized this nation would only flourish if its citizens were free to express their religious beliefs publicly and without fear of government retaliation. It is a misinterpretation of the Constitution, however, for the government to facilitate the practice of one specific faith through the ostracism of all others.
–B. Christopher Agee
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Photo credit: ssoosay (Creative Commons)