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Posted: 11/22/2008 2:39:06 AM EDT


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's top Islamic body on Saturday banned Muslims from practicing yoga, saying the Indian physical exercise contains elements of Hinduism and could corrupt Muslims.

The National Fatwa Council, which has the authority to rule on how Muslims must conduct their faith, issued a fatwa, or edict, saying yoga involves not just physical exercise but also includes Hindu spiritual elements, chanting and worship.

Council chairman Abdul Shukor Husin told reporters that many Muslims who practice the globally popular yoga failed to understand that its ultimate aim was to be one with a god of a different religion.

``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,'' he said.

``It is inappropriate. It can destroy the faith of a Muslim,'' he said.

The Fatwa Council's decisions are not legally binding on Muslims, who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 27 million people, unless they are enshrined in national or Shariah laws.

However, many Muslims abide by the edicts out of deference, and the council does have the authority to ostracize an offending Muslim from society.

The fatwa reflects the growing strain of conservatism in Malaysia, which has always taken pride in its multiethnicity. About 25 per cent of Malaysians are ethnic Chinese and 8 per cent ethnic Indians, mostly Hindus.

Recently, the council issued an edict banning tomboys, ruling that girls who act like boys violate the tenets of Islam.

The issue of yoga came into the limelight last month when an Islamic scholar expressed an opinion at a seminar that it was un-Islamic, prompting the Fatwa Council to step in.

Local newspapers have received several letters from Muslims, expressing indignation at the scholar's view, saying yoga is simply a way to maintain health
and has nothing to do with religion.

There are no figures for how many Muslims practice yoga, but many yoga classes have a sprinkling of Muslims attending.

In a recent blog, social activist Marina Mahathir criticized the council for even considering a yoga ban, calling it ``a classic case of reacting out of fear and ignorance.''

``Yoga may have spiritual roots but most of us do it for the exercise, both for the mind and body,'' Marina wrote.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 2:55:20 AM EDT
Islam verses Hinduism would be the mother of all religious wars.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 2:58:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Metallurgist:
Islam verses Hinduism would be the mother of all religious wars.


I'd buy front row tickets.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 3:29:57 AM EDT
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.

Link Posted: 11/22/2008 3:40:26 AM EDT
Yeah... it's sinister.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 3:59:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.





Link Posted: 11/22/2008 4:08:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.







Depends on how the class is run. Physical movements ... fine. Just saying if the class brings in the mental aspects of it "focus on this that, etc." people should know that it is part of another religion.

Link Posted: 11/22/2008 4:10:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Metallurgist:
Islam verses Hinduism would be the mother of all religious wars.


That war has been fought hot (several times) and cold since 1950 between India and Pakistan.

Religious tension in Malaysia is aggravated by racial tensions - the three major religions in Malaysia are practiced separately by the Malays, Indians, and Chinese.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 4:41:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.







Depends on how the class is run. Physical movements ... fine. Just saying if the class brings in the mental aspects of it "focus on this that, etc." people should know that it is part of another religion.



If you know little of yoga, I would hesitate to speak.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 4:51:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By friendlysniper:
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.







Depends on how the class is run. Physical movements ... fine. Just saying if the class brings in the mental aspects of it "focus on this that, etc." people should know that it is part of another religion.



If you know little of yoga, I would hesitate to speak.




I know enough to know that its origin is in eastern religions spirituality that are not compatible with Christianity. As long as classes stick to movements breathing techniques, etc. they're fine ... when they start to teach people to do the mental focus meditation on certain ides, etc. type stuff that comes out of those other religions, that's where someone who is a Christian should stop.



Link Posted: 11/22/2008 5:01:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By friendlysniper:
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.







Depends on how the class is run. Physical movements ... fine. Just saying if the class brings in the mental aspects of it "focus on this that, etc." people should know that it is part of another religion.



If you know little of yoga, I would hesitate to speak.




I know enough to know that its origin is in eastern religions spirituality that are not compatible with Christianity. As long as classes stick to movements breathing techniques, etc. they're fine ... when they start to teach people to do the mental focus meditation on certain ides, etc. type stuff that comes out of those other religions, that's where someone who is a Christian should stop.


I'm not so fragile that I can't borrow elements from other religions to improve upon myself without losing my Christianity or faith.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 5:06:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By friendlysniper:
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.







Depends on how the class is run. Physical movements ... fine. Just saying if the class brings in the mental aspects of it "focus on this that, etc." people should know that it is part of another religion.



If you know little of yoga, I would hesitate to speak.




I know enough to know that its origin is in eastern religions spirituality that are not compatible with Christianity. As long as classes stick to movements breathing techniques, etc. they're fine ... when they start to teach people to do the mental focus meditation on certain ides, etc. type stuff that comes out of those other religions, that's where someone who is a Christian should stop.


I'm not so fragile that I can't borrow elements from other religions to improve upon myself without losing my Christianity or faith.




Fine as long as you're mindful of what's going on.

I suspect many of the women who go to these classes because it's the trendy thing to do and the exercises work are completely ignorant of the potential spiritual aspect of it.

Link Posted: 11/22/2008 5:09:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By friendlysniper:
Originally Posted By Resist:
Originally Posted By 4xDawn:
Originally Posted By Resist:
I don't support banning such things, but many Christians would do well to know the origin of that stuff before they head down to the yoga class at the ymca.







Depends on how the class is run. Physical movements ... fine. Just saying if the class brings in the mental aspects of it "focus on this that, etc." people should know that it is part of another religion.



If you know little of yoga, I would hesitate to speak.




I know enough to know that its origin is in eastern religions spirituality that are not compatible with Christianity. As long as classes stick to movements breathing techniques, etc. they're fine ... when they start to teach people to do the mental focus meditation on certain ides, etc. type stuff that comes out of those other religions, that's where someone who is a Christian should stop.


I'm not so fragile that I can't borrow elements from other religions to improve upon myself without losing my Christianity or faith.




Fine as long as you're mindful of what's going on.

I suspect many of the women who go to these classes because it's the trendy thing to do and the exercises work are completely ignorant of the potential spiritual aspect of it.




Nope. You're just making something out of nothing.
Link Posted: 11/22/2008 7:58:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pliftkl:
Originally Posted By Metallurgist:
Islam verses Hinduism would be the mother of all religious wars.


That war has been fought hot (several times) and cold since 1950 between India and Pakistan.

Religious tension in Malaysia is aggravated by racial tensions - the three major religions in Malaysia are practiced separately by the Malays, Indians, and Chinese.


Looks like the (hardline) Hindus in India are busy persecuting Christians at the moment.
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