Thursday, January 29, 2009

Indonesia's fatwa against yoga not very effective

Four days after the fatwa went out, students continued to fill the yoga mats in the classrooms of Jakarta's Jakartadogyoga Studio. On Jan. 28, the influential Indonesian Ulemas Council issued a religious edict forbidding all Indonesian Muslims from practicing yoga that incorporates pre-Hindu religious rituals such meditation and chanting. And while students at the yoga studio admitted they had heard about the proclamation, which only allows yoga for the purpose of exercise or sport, they say it won't deter them from attending classes in the popular Indian practice. "Issuing a fatwa is not the way to settle a controversy — if there really is one," says Sita Resmi, a yoga student and practicing Muslim. "If something endangers the public then I understand, but this doesn't so it doesn't make much sense to me." More in Time Magazine.

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