Harvard University has accepted a Muslim group’s petition to close the school’s Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center to me for an hour a day so that Muslim women can work out without the presence of men in the gym.
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 said that she does not believe that the women-only gym hours discriminate against men.
"These hours are necessary because there is a segment of the Harvard female population that is not found in gyms not because they don’t want to work out, but because for them working out in a co-ed gym is uncomfortable, awkward or problematic in some way," she said.
Though the policy was in part initiated by the school’s Islamic group, Aljawhary said women-only hours are not a case of "minority rights trumping majority preference" and said women of different faiths have showed interest in the hours.
That statement is, of course, not true. It would be easy to either write this off to an overly P.C. administration at Harvard or to genuine respect for women’s rights. Both, I suspect, are true in large part. However, a casual Google search reveals a pattern of similar cases at both public and private colleges across the U.S. that is too sizable to ignore.
That pattern is one of Muslim students consistently failing to assimilate to the culture of this country. This failure should come as no surprise given similar but more overtly destructive examples of the same behavorial pattern all across Europe, most recently in Denmark.
Rather than joining in the American melting pot, some American Muslims are deliberately using the administrative weakness of our institutions of higher education to promote their agenda of separatism. For this reason it is imperative that American universities – and Americans at large – stop accepting baseless claims of discrimination from Muslim groups, start making independent judgments about what is right and wrong, and consistently refuse to give in to these minority groups’ demands for preferential treatment at the expense of others.