Likewise, it makes no sense that Yoga should be forbidden to Muslims, but our clergy, border after border, is now beginning to wake up to these unending rays of enlightenment. The latest buzz is a ban on Indonesian Muslims. I say "these" because previous trendsetter rays have set high precedents. Much earlier, though I can't say when exactly, a decree by the authorities-that-be, declared that a Muslim woman couldn't practise - yes - yoga, because that would require her to wear pants in the company of other women, which could "lead her to have lesbian sex".
Muslim men and women are also recommended not to spend time together needlessly and without a third presence, except in the case of spouses or unmarriageable kin. Flirtations are looked down upon in Islam. But an Al-Azhar cleric has, like his "cell-mates", without effort given fodder to the mischievous to humiliate his religion. He has found an ingenious way to allow marriageable men and women to sit together, alone, in private, without guilt, and - wait for it - without chances of promiscuity. The woman can breast-feed her male friend, which would make her unmarriageable to him, having achieved an instant certificate of motherhood.
On a very serious note, I am not surprised that the average person feels disgusted at the thought of religiosity, or believes only in humanism for religious ritualism does not make anybody a better person. True, it doesn't, because it has been hijacked by feeble-minded fools who alone are responsible for giving Islam a bad name. And these kinds exist in all religions. I'm only quoting from the Muslim world lest somebody else feels insulted or doubts my intentions. I have only one thing to say to the disgruntled man of faith: Religion encourages reason!
Photo credits: http://www.healthspablog.org
Copyright (c) 2008 Saadia Malik