JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s top Islamic body says it will consider banning Muslims from practicing yoga.
Cleric Ma’ruf Amin said Thursday the Ulema Council was trying to determine if the ancient Indian exercise could corrupt the faith of believers. If the answer is yes, a nonbinding edict prohibiting the practice could be passed next month.
The discussions follow a decision by the Islamic body in neighboring Malaysia to issue a ban — though Muslims there have been told they can perform yoga as long as they refrain from chanting religious mantras.
Amin said investigators will interview practitioners across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, to see if restrictions need to be passed. They will also visit yoga clubs and gyms.
“We are investigating the practice of yoga not only because of the fatwa issued in Malaysia but also because the media asked us about it,” Ma’ruf Amin, head of MUI’s fatwa commission, told New Straits Times.
Indonesian ulama panel to study yoga issue [New Straits Times]