Faith, fatwa and freedom
20,000 Muslims attack Christian church in
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Faith, fatwa and freedom:
NOV 25 - At a time when the entire world’s confidence in the global financial system is being severely shaken,
The fatwa banning yoga, particularly its accompanying chants and prayers, is the latest issued by scholars who form
The council's last edict was weeks ago against women who dress like men whom the learned scholars say could lead to lesbianism.
Previously, they had issued edicts that banned cults, heavy rock music, Muslim women in beauty contests, and stunning cattle to death, horror movies and others.
And now, yoga.
While the controversial edict will take its time to become law in the various states – Islam is a state matter under the Federal Constitution – the scholars themselves appear to be split on the issue.
Outgoing Perlis Mufti Dr Asri Zainul Abidin, who apparently did not attend the fatwa council meeting, yesterday said the authorities should offer alternative versions of yoga instead of banning the exercise.
“Yoga practitioners who are Muslims should be given an alternative by practising a version of yoga that does not resemble the version practised by other religions,” The Star quoted him as saying, adding that chanting while practising the exercise should also be stopped.
“The fatwa announced in this day and age should not be too rigid. The human movement does not necessarily have a connection with religion,” Asri said.
Most politicians have been silent on the issue, except for Malacca chief minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Ali Rustam, who is also aspiring to be Umno deputy president, agreeing to implement the edict, underscoring the establishment’s penchant for top-down leadership and directives.
However, cooler heads appear to be prevailing. Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has said the ban will not be enforced until the matter is studied further
But yoga practitioners, be they Muslims or not, are upset.
National Cancer Society of Malaysia advisor Datuk Zuraidah Atan said Muslim cancer survivors are confused as the exercise has proven calming in their fight against the disease.
“An overreaching fatwa like this is not good for them as unnecessary worry can have a negative effect on them psychologically and physically,” she said on Sunday, adding that “some are already feeling guilty for practising it.’
Others fear Islamic department enforcement officials will raid yoga sessions in search of Muslims breaking the fatwa if the edict is implemented.
“You take up yoga to exercise and meditate, not run helter skelter,” a yoga follower told The Malaysian Insider.
Another said the economy should be a greater concern than losing one’s faith through yoga.
“They should be reassuring us in these crazy times, not putting the fear of God in us,” she said. “And if they are so shallow as to think that yoga can lead to Hinduism or wearing pants can turn one into a lesbian, they don’t deserve to be scholars of any kind.”
But the scholars would beg to differ and have said their edicts should not be criticised but must be followed, fuelling the belief that it all boils down to control over Muslims and their insecurity that the faithful are, well... not that faithful.
And they believe they have the power of the state behind them to ensure compliance.
However, for Malaysians, especially the Muslims, the latest fatwa is a test of faith and freedom to decide what is best for them. Just like March 8.
20,000 Muslims attack Christian church in
Posted GMT 26-11-2008// 9:57:4
One thousand Christians were today trapped inside the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in West Ain Shams,
The Muslim mob that attacked the church blocked both sides of the street and encircled the church building, broke its doors and demolished its entire first floor. The mob were chanting Jihad verses as well as slogans saying "we will demolish the church" and "We sacrifice our blood and souls, we sacrifice ourselves for you, Islam", while the entrapped Christians chanted "Lord have mercy".
The incident started on the occasion of the inauguration of the Church today, when the Muslims hastily established a Mosque in the early hours of this morning, by taking over the first floor of a newly-built building facing the Church and started praying there.
When the security forces tried to disperse the mob, they went to nearby homes and shops owned by Christians, and were armed with sticks, butane, knives and other sharp objects. Witnesses said the mob included children from as young as 8-years old to men of over 50-years old, in addition to women.
The Church building was originally a factory that was adapted into its present state, the matter which took over five years to complete and to get the necessary permissions from the authorities to have a Church established.
Human rights organizations and lawyers were refused entry into the besieged Church.
November 26, 2008
Since recognizing that routing the Taliban government in
This last idea, although drafted in
The application of such an idea in
To solve that problem, the
General Nur-al Haq Olumi, a member of parliament from Kandahar Province, told the Kabul-based daily Payman, according to a translation by the BBC, that distributing guns in the south while simultaneously supporting national efforts to disband and disarm militias was contradictory and potentially destructive. The Afghan paper Hasht-e Sobh, also translated by the BBC, underscored the point in an editorial: "The fact that these forces may become new warlords is not mere speculation. It is an irrefutable truth." Others fear that by arming Pashtun tribes, rivalries could be reignited; they point to unresolved conflict between the Hazara minority and nomads in central
Several years of reconstructing counterinsurgency theory for 21st century use, the
Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images. Meeting of Afghan warlords and tribal heads in