Yoga is a threat to Islam, you see. Let’s hope that none of those who believe that yoga is a threat to Islam threaten the lives or health of those who are practicing yoga in Indonesia today.
An eight-day international yoga festival opened Tuesday on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali despite a fatwa against the exercise from the country’s top Muslim body.
Organisers said seminars and workshops would help introduce yoga to a wider audience and rejected the clerics’ concerns that some forms of the popular exercise were a threat to Islam.
“The festival has a universal value. It doesn’t belong to any religious teachings,” International Bali-India Yoga Festival spokeswoman Susi Andrini told AFP.
Yoga, an ancient Indian aid to meditation dating back thousands of years, is a popular form of physical exercise and stress relief in Indonesia.
But the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, the top religious body in the mainly Muslim country, issued a fatwa in January banning Indonesian Muslims from all forms of yoga that involve Hindu religious rituals such as chanting mantras.…
Religious edicts issued by the ulemas are not legally binding on Muslims but it is considered sinful to ignore them.
Andrini said organisers were not afraid to hold the festival at the Bajrasandi Bali Monument in Denpasar — the capital of the Hindu-majority island of Bali — despite the fatwa….