I often wonder how religious groups decide what to support and what to oppose. One assumes their decisions to ban something is connected to a religious principle or to something a religious authority years ago declared to be part of the religion. Indonesia’s Ulema Council (MUI) has issued an edict which bans the use of yoga on the part of Muslims and also bans smoking on the part of pregnant women and children. An additional declaration by the group imposes a demand on the part of Muslims to vote in elections, of course, as long as they vote for someone who meets the criteria of “being Muslim, honest, brilliant and ready to fight for the people.” For some reason, the exact meaning of being “for the people” is not spelled out other than making certain no good Muslim is caught engaging in yoga.
Another edict imposed a ban on abortion unless the mother was a rape victim. Isn’t in human nature to resist edicts imposed by government institutions? How about an education campaign to convince people to vote, not to smoke, and to avoid yoga at any cost since it might be damaging to their religious principles. How about an edict against poverty or one in which any form of physical violence is deemed to be against the Muslim religion?