Malaysia’s top Islamic body has banned Muslims from practicing yoga, saying that yoga can corrupt Muslims and introduce them to elements of Hinduism. The decision was made by the National Fatwa Council, which says that yoga is based on elements of Hindu worship and chanting.
I am as impressed by the fact that Malaysia issues so many fatwas that it is has a National Fatwa Council.
Council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin explained the decision this week:”We are of the view that yoga, which originates from Hinduism, combines physical exercise, religious elements, chanting and worshipping for the purpose of achieving inner peace and ultimately to be one with god. It is inappropriate. It can destroy the faith of a Muslim.”
That is a pretty low estimation of the resilience of one’s religion that a couple Seated Side Twist Yoga Positions will bring down Islam. Of course, the council appears to be struggling to find anti-Islamic elements. Recently, the council issued an edict banning tomboys, ruling that girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam.
After yoga, I expect the next fatwa to focus on Jazzercise Aerobic Fitness as based on corrupting American culture music. The only exercise that is approved is throwing stones in Sharia executions for adulterers. It is both good for cardiovascular benefits and good for the soul. Indeed, a morning “Work-Out with the Sharia Stoning Squad Show” is planned for morning television. (Tomboys are of course banned from participation except as the subject of the stoning).