'Hijabs at its gyms'
defends Harvard's decision to close one of its gyms for six hours so Muslim women can exercise without men around. But it's not about the right of Harvard's Muslim women to 'turn up in hijabs at its gyms' -- something they should be allowed to do if they want. It's about turning up in hijabs -- and demanding that others scram too. Harvard crossed a line. ... Marcus suggests the controversy is a rare case of a univeristy getting it right. But it was really a typical case of a university caving so it doesn't come across as insensitive. ... I guess Harvard is just practicing a new form of pick-and-choose Cafeteria Secularism, not to be confused with pick-and-choose Cafeteria Catholicism. ...Update
writes in to note there was a time when Harvard and its faculty members didn't cave to demands of religious groups:
Ironic, huh? Years ago, the late William Alfred, my mentor at
Harvard, who was raised during the pre-Vatican II era, told me he got into a huge fight with Opus Dei in the 1950s when the latter tried to get Harvard to agree to house all Catholic students off campus in separate housing (if I recall correctly).
Alfred successfully fought this idea along with other Catholic faculty members, but it soured him a bit on O.D.