Malaysia backs down from yoga ban amid backlash: Scientific American
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.
For background of this story: Yoga is Un-Islamic.