Browsing through the noise news today, I came upon this article, which reports that the highest Islamic body in Malaysia, the appropriately named National Fatwa Council, has officially banned yoga in that country, apparently because yoga originated from Hinduism, and, get this:
…many Muslims fail to understand that yoga’s ultimate aim is to be one with a god of a different religion…
Oops, I thought, I wandered into The Onion website by mistake, especially after I read this quote:
News of the yoga ban prompted activist Marina Mahathir to wonder what the council will ban next: “What next? Gyms? Most gyms have men and women together. Will that not be allowed any more?”
I checked the URl, and sure enough it was actually from MSNBC, home of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, not to mention Bill Gates. Serious people all around. Not the type to make fun of religion.
So if it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be funny, especially since the last thing this august body of religious wingnuts banned was tomboys. Yep. You read that right. Tomboys.
Recently, the council said girls who act like boys violate Islam’s tenets. The government has also occasionally made similar conservative moves, banning the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims earlier this year, saying it would confuse Muslims.
How does one enforce a ban on tomboys? Stoning?
Of course, Americans need to get in on the act, being fellow theists worshiping a different god, and all.
In the United States, where it has become so popular that many public schools began offering it in gym classes, yoga has also come under fire. Some Christian fundamentalists and even secular parents have argued that yoga’s Hindu roots conflict with Christian teachings and that using it in school might violate the separation of church and state.
Oy! That wasn’t predictable, was it?
It turns out that the Malaysian clerics are feeling a bit insecure, given the loss of a number of seats in the Malaysian Parliament, when their majority was reduced, though not eliminated.
If they actually would lose control, they’d have no problem getting jobs as writers and copy editors at The Onion, writing great articles like this one.