Indonesia is the largest Muslin country in the world. Although officially secular some 90% of the 234 million population is Muslim.
The Council of Ulemas, 700 clerics and the country’s top Islamic body, explained that the use of yoga could erode the Muslim faith. The ancient Indian practice is popular in Indonesia, especially Jakarta, but it contains ritualised elements of Hinduism. The recital of Hindu rituals in yoga mantras is considered haram for Muslins.
The Council of Ulemas was formed in 1975 by then-President Suharto. The Council was initially founded to allow politics and religion to continue alongside one another in Indonesia without crossing paths. In recent years, though, the Council of Ulemas has become more involved in politics and the issuing of fatwas.
In Pure Spirit
What do you think? Is it a good idea to keep religion and politics separate? Is it possible?
Is it wrong of clerics to clearly spell out what is considered right or wrong according to their religious teachings?