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Thread: Would this offend you?

  1. #1

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    Unhappy Would this offend you?

    One of the gyms I teach at has a lasge Muslim community. One of the ladies was telling me last week that today would be her last class for a while as she will be fasting for Rammadan (sorry if thats not the way you spell it).

    So this week I said goodbye to a few, a few said they would still come (which is another thread but I am very worried about teaching to participants that won't be eating or drinking any water )

    So afterwards I was talking to a group of them and said "i'll really miss you guys but I guess I can't compete with the man upstairs" in a jokey voice. A couple laughed but a few looked a bit annoyed and walked away. I really hope I haven't offended them...would it offend you?

    I was joking of course and I really didn't mean to upset anyone. I would hate to think that people would think if me as being insensitive I've adapted the way I speak a lot in this class (made it less violent IYKWIM!) and I also wear more to teach there (I wear a crop everywhere else) so it would upset me to think that i'd lose participants (and lovely people) because of what I said.

    What do you think?

  2. #2

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    Hmmmm not sure I can see how it could come across as a bit offensive, but I reckon it would depend on the person Some laughed, so I don't think you were offensive to the religion, just some peoples sensibilities, DTMS? Like, if you said that to a bunch of Christians, although it is not offensive to the religion, certain people might not like it, but that's more to do with their personalities, kwim? As for teaching people who are on Ramadan, they will eat, they will eat before dawn, and quite a good meal I think, before the first prayer of the day, then go about their day. Then they eat again at sunset. HTH

  3. #3

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    Thanks hun! I probably should have just avoided the whole topic all together! I'm usually really careful

    And with the fasting, I know that they can have a big brekkie so it's not really the food i'm worried about (if they're training in the am) it's more the water. I would never EVER teach or participate in a class where I couldn't drink water, it's so dangerous and I don't really want to teach people who might keel over at any second

    I wonder what athletes and sportspeople do? Does anyone know?

  4. #4

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    To Islam, Allah is greatly feared and respected, and any such lightheartedness is like playing with fire. Any reactions from your students are probably caused more by not knowing how to respond to such a joke, and not necessarily offense from you. That's a bit wordy, hope you know what I mean.

  5. #5

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    I do thank you, do you think I should mention it next time I see them or just try and forget about it?!

  6. #6

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    Nah, just leave it. Probably don't even talk about Ramadan, seeing as they're quite sensitive. You never know what could make them uncomfortable.
    I'm not extremely religious, but when I hear jokes etc, I always feel torn between ignoring it, or explaining the consequences of such jokes so they don't get punished for it. That's probably what they are feeling.

  7. #7

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    I used to play sport at a high level and one of our team members was Muslim. We had a weekend training camp during Ramadan and although we were doing some pretty intensive training, she didn't take water or food during the day. One day, she got lightheaded and almost fainted and the coach made her sit out for the rest of the session, but she still didn't want to take water. I think there are circumstances when people can break fast, but for her this hadn't reached that point yet.

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    As a Muslim woman, I would neither laugh or get offended. I would think it's a cheap way for you to get people to laugh, honestly. I would probably also let that comment slide for now and see if you make any more references to religion in general when it's not appropriate. If it does happen again, I would look for another gym instructor.

    Have you tried apologising for your insensitive comment? Or perhaps, you can get a third party to explain how you didn't mean to offend anyone. Hope I have helped.

  9. #9

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    I'm a Christian if you said it to me I'd laugh
    Like pp I guess everyones diff, I doubt you did any harm Hun, it seems very light hearted to me.

  10. #10

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    i agree with babyluv im a christian and i would have laughed because i see it as more a figure of speech than anything.
    I think considering you yourself have gone above and beyond to make them comfortable in a class than they should be more accepting of YOU!

  11. #11

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    meh, I have a lot of Muslim friends, some who are rather strict, some who aren't. I really do think it's more of a personality thing FWIW even my strictest Muslim friends would not have been offended by this; if anything they would have been pleased that you understood Allah comes first, and second, that you don't have the weird need that a lot of non-muslim people have to feel like you can't mention/talk about the religion at all.

  12. #12

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    I am also a muslim and i would have laughed only because i know what your intention was behind what you said and that you dont completly understand our beliefs.

    But i can understand why they may have felt uncomfortable,you see in islam we dont classify God as a man like christians do,and its actually a major sin to attribute god to man in any way for us.

    But knowing that alot of people dont understand our belifs 100% and you were only being polite and lighthearted they should have been abit nicer about it.

    Hope that helps you understand

  13. #13

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    Thanks guys, I have no idea if they were offended which is why I started the post in the first place. I don't think they were because they've been back and are still chatty and friendly as ever.

    Thank you everyone for giving me your opinions

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by rurumummy View Post
    I am also a muslim and i would have laughed only because i know what your intention was behind what you said and that you dont completly understand our beliefs.

    But i can understand why they may have felt uncomfortable,you see in islam we dont classify God as a man like christians do,and its actually a major sin to attribute god to man in any way for us.

    But knowing that alot of people dont understand our belifs 100% and you were only being polite and lighthearted they should have been abit nicer about it.

    Hope that helps you understand
    ^ yeah that

    I am muslim and wouldn't have been offended for the same reasons stated above.

    you sound like a great gym instructor for accomodating them like that, I have been looking and hoping for more instuctors like you, where are you located lol?

  15. #15

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    This thread is EXACTLY why I believe our children should know more about Islam. I'll be upfront - I am an atheist - but I am passionate about my boys being as aware of Islam as most Australians of my age are about Christianity. C-Q nothing against you - I would have probably made a similar joke - but I do know intellectually that Muslims do not mock Allah, so logically know a comment like yours could offend. But I wouldn't have "put two and two together" IYKWIM? I would have no doubt inadvertently offended also. And I find that sad, because as humans we have enough going against us at the moment without ignorance (and I mean that in the dictionary, not judgemental, sense) further adding to our dramas (C-Q again, not directed at you but at people generally )

    So I think the moral of the story is that we should all try to learn a little more about Islam. Thanks, C-Q and others, for discussing this topic in such an enlightened manner.

  16. #16

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    Just had another thought which I missed last night (this morning LOL!) The same applies for other religions too. We are so Christian-centric in our thinking that we are no doubt horrifying people of ther faiths all the time?

  17. #17

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    People horrify me everday Rory...Just nobody gives a toss because my religion isn't one of 'The Big 3' lol



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