Of Tomboy and Yoga FatwasPosted: October 30, 2008
The National Fatwa Council must have too much time on their hands.
First, they issue a fatwa banning tomboyism, whatever THAT means. Then now, they want to issue a fatwa on yoga as well!
The National Fatwa Council will be issuing a ruling soon relating to yoga exercise, which is deemed to be deviationist in nature for the Muslims.
Yesterday, UKM lecturer Prof Zakaria Stapa advised Muslims who have taken up yoga – a widely popular exercise which has its roots to India and Hinduism – to stop practising it for fear that it could deviate them from their belief.
“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,” he was reported as saying.
Council chairperson Abdul Shukor had said that many young women admired the way men dress, behave and socialise, violating human nature and denying their feminity.
“It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear,” Abdul Shukor was quoted as saying.
About this tomboyism thing. This dressing in ‘male clothes’ and ‘short hair’ and all that. People don’t just suddenly change their sexual preference through dressing.
If I’m not mistaken, Islam teaches that women be properly covered up. If male clothes still allow women to be properly covered up, what’s wrong with that?
And short hair. What in the WORLD can be wrong with short hair? Especially in a climate like Malaysia’s that’s hot and humid all year through, short hair happens to be the easiest hairstyle to manage! And having short hair does NOT change a person from straight to lesbian, despite what the people in the National Fatwa Council might think.
I think that as long as it does not cause harm or detriment to another party, how a person dresses should not be under the control of someone else.
On yoga, that is simply beyond me. I don’t even know if there’s anything intelligent I can say about this.
Yoga happens to be a healthy thing to do. It keeps people’s minds focused, and helps relax the body. It’s a good and fun way to stay healthy. They don’t preach anything about Hinduism in yoga classes. The only most frequent ‘chant’ you would hear is probably ‘breathe in, breathe out’, which I believe does not deviate from Islamic teachings.
If this is the line of thinking that they are going along, then maybe they’ll start issuing fatwas on Tai Chi as well, since Tai Chi has it’s roots in Chinese Qi Gong and all that.
I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but it reeks of sexist discrimination to me. Because tomboyism is targetted at women, and yoga is an exercise mostly done by women. Women these days too liberal for their liking?
Like Marina Mahathir, I wish there were fatwas on violence against women. Wishful thinking?
*Note: For the interest of those who were following my discussion with commentator meow on fatwas, I’ve found more information to digest from Syed Akbar Ali’s blog HERE.