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Jakarta Post

MUI edicts condemned as 'pointless'

  • Syofiardi Bachyul Jb and Erwida Maulia


PADANG/JAKARTA   /   Tue, January 27 2009   /  09:57 am

The country’s highest Islamic authority has come under fire for bans on vote abstention, smoking and yoga. Indulging in sin?: A man enjoys his cigarette in front of a mirror at a roadside food stall in Jakarta on Sunday. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued several edicts that same day, among others, partially banning smoking and certain aspects of yoga,including religious rituals. JP/J. ADIGUNA Edicts on the bans were issued by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) during its two-day national meeting in Padangpanjang, West Sumatra, which ended on Sunday. Some 700 clerics from the council agreed Muslims were forbidden to abstain from voting in elections if “qualified” candidates existed. “Islam obliges Muslims to elect their leaders if the latter meet certain criteria,” Gusrizal Gazahar, MUI West Sumatra head, said after the meeting. The criteria ...