Posted by: becketfund | November 22, 2008

Malaysia: Islamic Body Bans Yoga

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s top Islamic body, the National Fatwa Council, issued an edict on November 22 prohibiting Muslims from practicing yoga saying that elements of Hinduism in the ancient Indian exercise could corrupt them, the AP reported on November 22. The National Fatwa Council’s chairman, Abdul Shukor Husin, said many Muslims fail to understand that yoga’s ultimate aim is to be one with a god of a different religion. The edict reflects the growing influence of conservative Islam in Malaysia, where the majority Muslim Malays lost seats in March 2008 elections and where minority ethnic Chinese and mostly Hindu ethnic Indians have been seeking more rights. Within the past year the council determined that girls who act like boys violate Islam’s tenets. The government has also has also forbidden non-Muslims to use the word “Allah,” as the usage would cause confusion for the Muslim population.

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