Saturday, April 22, 2006
Muslim Women Want Single-Sex Workouts
© 2006 The Associated Press
LINCOLN PARK, Mich. — About 200 Muslim women who have memberships to the Fitness USA chain of athletic clubs have signed a petition asking the gyms to honor what they say was a promise to provide separate exercise times for women and men.
Arrwa Mogalli, 28, of Dearborn, said she bought a $1,465 lifetime membership after being promised that a Lincoln Park facility would be open only to women on certain days.
The gym in this Detroit suburb opened a new part of the center this month to both sexes every day.
"I felt like all the money I just spent ... has gone to waste," Mogalli said.
The women are asking the chain to restore single-sex exercise days for the entire gym or to put up a divider so men and women cannot see each other while exercising.
"In Islam, there are codes of modesty for both genders," said Ammerah Saidi, 23, of Dearborn. "When you're working out, you're not dressed modestly, and you're bending in provocative ways, so you can't be working out with the opposite gender."
The company is reviewing the women's concerns, said Jodi Berry, administrative director for Fitness USA. But the company said that the women's written contracts say nothing about gender.
On the Net:
Fitness USA: http://www.fitnessusa.com/
Council on American-Islamic Relations: http://www.cair-net.org/
Posted by Editor at 9:42 PM