One of Three Harvard Campus Gyms Closed to Men for Three Two-Hour Periods Per Week to Accommodate Muslim Women

Harvard University has responded to the request of six Muslim women’s religious request by closing the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center to men from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays.

Ola Aljawhary, a student and a member of the Harvard Islamic Society, said the women-only gym is needed because a segment of the Harvard female population doesn’t workout because co-ed gyms are “uncomfortable, awkward or problematic.”

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in Washington D.C., said modesty may prevent some Muslim women from exercising in a co-ed environment.

The decision has caused in the opinion columns of school newspapers. Most comments deride the decision.

See …
Women Only Hours are Unfair
in the Harvard Crimson (2/20/2008)
No Boys Allowed in The Daily Pennsylvanian (2/27/2008)