The National Fatwa Council must respect the sensitivities and feelings of other religions in Malaysia while giving guidance to Muslims on the religion’s practices and tenets.
“Many Hindus have been deeply disturbed by the Fatwa Council’s announcement,” Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said in a statement Sunday.
He said it was regrettable that the Council had not consulted with the Malaysia Hindu Sangam first so that the religious and non-religious aspects of yoga could have been explained.
The Fatwa Council on Saturday issued an edict banning Muslims from practising yoga on grounds that it involved chants and acts of worship in order to be one with the god of another religion.
“To call this ancient practice ‘haram’ and saying that it can ‘corrupt’ a person is very hurtful and demeaning,” said Vaithilingam.
He added that as many Hindus and non-Hindus practised yoga together in a non-religious manner, the fatwa could drive a wedge between those of different religions.
National Fatwa Council chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin on Saturday said yoga had been practised by the Hindu community for thousands of years and incorporated physical movements, religious elements together with chants and worshipping, with the aim of “being one with God”.“Because of this, we believe that it is inappropriate for Muslims to do yoga. The council is declaring that practising yoga, when it comes together with the three elements, is haram,” he told a press conference
Hindu Sangam urges Fatwa Council to ‘be more sensitive’
Malaysia Star, Malaysia