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Don’t twist yoga fatwa: PM

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 Nov 2008: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today urged all quarters to understand the content of the yoga fatwa issued by the National Fatwa Council and not twist facts and confuse the public.

He said Muslims who performed yoga exercise without chanting any mantra could carry on with their activity as it was good for their health.

“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 when contacted by Bernama here.

Abdullah was asked to comment on the yoga fatwa issue following the opposing views expressed by various quarters and the confusion that arose after the National Fatwa Council ruled that yoga was “haram” (forbidden in Islam) for Muslims as it involved chanting of mantra and acts of worship which are against Islamic teachings.

At the same time, the prime minister said, non-Muslims should not feel hurt or slighted by the announcement of the yoga fatwa as it was only applicable to Muslims.

“What I understand from the decision of the National Fatwa Council is that it was aimed at explaining to Muslims the implications of yoga practice.”  

Abdullah said he was also aware that the yoga fatwa would only be implemented after getting the consent of the Conference of Malay Rulers.

On 22 Nov, National Fatwa Council chairman Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin announced that yoga exercise which involved chanting of mantra and acts of worship was “haram” as it was against Islamic teachings. — Bernama


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