> Malaysia backs down from yoga ban amid backlash Posted by admin Thursday,
> 27 November 2008 09:26 By Jalil Hamid, Reuters Malaysia's prime minister
> said Wednesday Muslims should still take up yoga, reversing an outright
> ban that has drawn widespread protests amid concerns over growing Islamic
> fundamentalism in the multiracial nation. Malaysia's National Fatwa
> Council, comprising Islamic scholars, told Muslims at the weekend to avoid
> yoga because it uses Hindu prayers that could erode Muslims' faith. But
> the decision drew a sharp rebuke from many Muslims and even Malaysia's
> sultans, or hereditary rulers, who said that they should be consulted on
> any matters involving Islam. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi moved to
> contain the damage, telling the national news agency Bernama that Muslims
> could carry on doing yoga but minus the chanting. "I wish to state that a
> physical regime with no elements of worship can continue, meaning, it is
> not banned. I believe that Muslims are not easily swayed into polytheism,"
> he said. Just before Abdullah spoke, the eldest son of the ruler of the
> central Negeri Sembilan state took the government to task over the yoya
> ruling. "Islam is a progressive religion and the ulama (scholars) should
> be confident of the followers' faith rather than micro-managing their way
> of life," Tunku Naquiyuddin told a luncheon. "If I go to a church or a
> Buddhist temple, is there any fear of me converting? ... Where do we draw
> the line?" the online version of the Star newspaper quoted him as saying.
> The yoga fatwa ruling came hot on the heels of another edict against young
> Muslim women wearing trousers. Fatwas or religious edicts are not legally
> binding, but they are highly influential in Malaysia, where Malay-Muslims
> form just over half of the country's 27 million people. The fatwa council
> has said that by wearing trousers, girls risked becoming sexually active
> "tomboys." Gay sex is outlawed in Malaysia. Malaysia's sizeable minorities
> include ethnic Chinese and Indians who practice either Christianity,
> Buddhism or Hinduism. http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/15370/84/
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