The fundamentalist spirit which is found in every religion throughout the world invariably emerges with edicts and pronouncements which reflect on a spirit that looks backward rather than accepts life in its contemporary diversity. Malaysia’s top Islamic body banned Muslims from practicing Yoga on grounds the Indian physical exercise contains elements of Hinduism that would lead to the corruption of a Muslim soul. “We are of the vies that Yoga, which originates from Hinduism, contains physical exercise, religious elements, chanting and worshipping for the purpose of achieving inner peace and ultimately to be one with god. It is inappropriate. It can destroy the faith of a Muslim,”
It is difficult to envision how “achieving inner peace and ultimately to be one with god” is not appropriate for individuals belonging to any faith. The edict is simply another manifestation of a growing intolerance on the part of Malaysia’s fundamentalist Muslims who recently made it immoral for girls to act like tomboys. What next– eating a Kosher hot dog sends Muslims to hell?