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.