At first, I wanted to blog about the new Windows 7 cool features and Windows’ entry into cloud computing, Azure, but I just couldn’t resist taking a dig at this one.

It has been announced that The National Fatwa Council will come out with an Islamic ruling (fatwa) relating to yoga, probably as a response to the musings of lecturer Prof. Zakaria Stapa of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s (UKM) Islamic Studies Centre. The professor, on Tuesday, advised Muslims who have taken up yoga to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate their belief.

You can read the Bernama report in The Star, but for a more detailed reporting, check out Malaysiakini’s (subsription only).

The UKM lecturer was quoted as saying:

“If the Muslims want a healthy body, prayers are the right choice… why must we find alternate ways… a single mistake can deviate our teachings as yoga movements follow the style and tradition of Hinduism.”

Marina Mahathir has the full Malaysiakini news on her blog, and her comments regarding the above quote should resound with a lot of real healthy Muslims:

If prayers are the only thing you need to be healthy, why are there so many unhealthy Muslims? Is this an indication that they don’t pray? If all you need do is pray, why do sports or eat healthily?

If they have ever found any Muslim who has converted out solely because of yoga, they should produce evidence instead of speculating on the ‘weakness’ of our faith. If it is ‘weak’ at all, it is because people like the Fatwa Council have done nothing to make it strong, constantly weakening it through fear and ignorance.

This fatwa comes just a few weeks shy of another earlier fatwa to ban tomboys, who were vaguely defined as “girls who behaves or dresses in a boyish manner”.

[via KLue (updated)]

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In other news, the Malaysian government plans to attract more foreign students to tackle the financial crisis.

Na-ah. Not gonna work if they are to be confined and segregated.