As a part-time comedian, I can't but laugh after reading Sunday's news headline - YOGA BAN. Although the ban was quite expected since other 'thoughtful' fatwas were passed previously, I find this one slightly overboard. Overboard not because yoga, to me, is quite an innocent practice but it puts a huge question mark on how the religion of Islam is deemed by the clergies in Malaysia.
As one of my friends have pointed out, here in Malaysia we practice a commercialized version of yoga that, to an extent, distance itself from the whole chanting of Hindu mantras "with the aim of being one with God". Honestly, I didn't even know yoga has anything to do with Hinduism (and I bet many who practice it don't know it either or just don't give a shit) but thanks to our 'thoughtful' clergies, now I know.
I won't spill the beans, unlike our fellow fatwans, the fact that, for many years, our Malay Muslim friends have been enjoying a local delicacy called tapai, which is lovely blend rice and the natural-alcohol-producing process called fermentation. On this, allow me to quote from the today's paper - "one part of yoga would lead to another" (The Star) and DANG!, one tea spoon of tapai can lead to a generation of drunken Muslims? Gimme a break!
The article also pointed out that "practising yoga even as a form of exercise as it would ultimately lead to worshipping and chanting, which is against Islam. In Islam, a believer must not do things that can erode one's aqidah or faith." Hmmm. I may not be of any religion but I really do think that, as a believer of Islam, a Muslim should strengthen his or her beliefs from within himself or herself to vindicate themselves against, not only other religious practices and elements, but also against pessimism that a small element of another religion can actually affect a religion of Islam's stature. Whose aqidah eroded I wonder...
Plus, if the practice of yoga does allow its practioners to be 'one with God', a Muslim need not worry since there is only one God so its all one and the same one mah! Choi!
Before I make anymore Muslim enemies, I just like to issue a warning to the pole dancers, tap dancers, shufflers and swingers out there to be wary of the probability of getting haramed!