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Jakarta Post

Viewpoint: Blasphemous bras, heretical heels, yoga and me

  • Julia Suryakusuma

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 3 2008   /  11:02 am

Yesterday morning I woke up early as usual and got ready for my early morning meditational yoga. It's something I've been doing since 1981, clearing my mind and reinvigorating myself for the day ahead. It's like getting your cell phone recharged, as simple as that. But then I remembered reading that the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) is thinking of issuing a fatwa declaring yoga haram (forbidden), inspired by the Malaysian National Fatwa Council which has declared yoga haram because it "goes against the teachings of Islam". Well, Malaysia is our sister country and they've done us the honor of imitating so many Indonesian things -- batik, songs, language, even food! It's understandable we should reciprocate. Being from a West Javanese Muslim family, I naturally felt I should heed our revered clerics who, after all, have studied the holy scriptures closely. In th...