Saturday, November 29, 2008

GCC rumour, & Muslims banned from doing Yoga in Malaysia

GCC date change due to Saudi's?
I was talking to my contacts in the Al Bustan about how the refurbishment was going, and we talked about the recent GCC date change and hotel grabbing. They were adament that the Al Bustan would have been ready for the earlier planned date last week or so, and that the word they had reeceived was the reason for the change was to accomodate the Saudi's, who said they couldn't make the earlier date after all.

Also, they commented that the pricipal driver for pretty much everything will be security, given the high profile gathering will offer an obvious target for terrorist nutcases. Thats why the whole hotel will be taken, even if they don't need all the rooms. Plus cancelling the plans of the tourists at that time will actually make it easier for the security services - because there will be less people to keep an eye on.

The bill for the refurbishment is over 150 million rials. Sweet. As an aside, the famous '9th floor' of the Al Bustan is guarded 24/7 - even from the main refurbishment contractors of the rest of the hotel. The super-royal suites are apparently being redone by a separate contractor and is totally top secret.

And from Malaysia: Stretching limbs and aligning chakras damages religious faith.
In another example of Islamo-silliness, a story from Malaysia about banning Muslims from practicing yoga. Earlier they finally got around to banning women practicing lesbian sex and dressing 'like a man'.

Its not too often you get to read the words 'lesbian sex' in an Omani newspaper, but I like the trend Essa - keep it up.

Photo: Not allowed in Malaysia, especially if you're a lesbian

Times of Oman
Yoga forbidden for Muslims in Malaysia
AFP Saturday, November 22, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims in Malaysia should not practice yoga because it will erode their faith in Islam, a senior Islamic cleric said Saturday.

"Yoga is forbidden for Muslims. The practice will erode their faith in the religion," Abdul Shukor Husin, chairman of the government-backed National Fatwa Council, told reporters. "We advice Muslims not to practice yoga. It does not conform with Islam," he said in response to a call to ban Muslims from doing yoga.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of the population of 27 million are Muslim Malays who practice a conservative brand of the religion.

Yoga, an ancient Indian aid to meditation dating back thousands of years, is a popular stress-buster in Kuala Lumpur. Zakaria Stapa, a professor at the Islamic faculty of the National University of Malaysia, recently called on Muslims to stop doing yoga as it could cause them to "deviate from their faith".

Abdul Shukor said yoga involved physical and religious elements of Hinduism including the recitation of mantras. He could not say how many Muslims were practising yoga but called on state authorities to punish those who do.

The fatwa council, one of Malaysia's highest Islamic bodies, recently banned women from dressing or behaving like men and engaging in lesbian sex, saying it was forbidden by the religion.


  1. The ninth floor security issue - there might be a reason for that.

    I remember being told once that a bomb was placed into a wall of the Sports Stadium in Nizwa while it was under construction.
    It was found by accident in the final days before a Royal visit.

    How true this is, I do not know.


  2. Malaysia backs down from yoga ban amid backlash

    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's prime minister said Wednesday Muslims should still take up yoga, reversing an outright ban that has drawn widespread protests amid concerns over growing Islamic fundamentalism in the multiracial nation.

    Malaysia's National Fatwa Council, comprising Islamic scholars, told Muslims at the weekend to avoid yoga because it uses Hindu prayers that could erode Muslims' faith.

    But the decision drew a sharp rebuke from many Muslims and even Malaysia's sultans, or hereditary rulers, who said that they should be consulted on any matters involving Islam.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi moved to contain the damage, telling the national news agency Bernama that Muslims could carry on doing yoga but minus the chanting.

    "I wish to state that a physical regime with no elements of worship can continue, meaning, it is not banned. I believe that Muslims are not easily swayed into polytheism," he said.

    Just before Abdullah spoke, the eldest son of the ruler of the central Negeri Sembilan state took the government to task over the yoya ruling.

    "Islam is a progressive religion and the ulama (scholars) should be confident of the followers' faith rather than micro-managing their way of life," Tunku Naquiyuddin told a luncheon.

    "If I go to a church or a Buddhist temple, is there any fear of me converting? ... Where do we draw the line?" the online version of the Star newspaper quoted him as saying.

    The yoga fatwa ruling came hot on the heels of another edict against young Muslim women wearing trousers.

    Fatwas or religious edicts are not legally binding, but they are highly influential in Malaysia, where Malay-Muslims form just over half of the country's 27 million people.

    The fatwa council has said that by wearing trousers, girls risked becoming sexually active "tomboys." Gay sex is outlawed in Malaysia.

    Malaysia's sizeable minorities include ethnic Chinese and Indians who practice either Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism.

    (Reporting by Jalil Hamid)

  3. 150 million for the refurbishment?? Pause for thought as you try to stretch to the hot food in the restaurant. Why are the containers so far away?? (Probably out of reach for your elderly German tourist) Answer - they managed to build the serving area/top the wrong way round.....

  4. and China Mood is completely untouched (along with the Oman Auditorium) since it closed - with water stains in the ceiling of the room we dined in and missing highlight units showing up a black void – where did all the money go

  5. Ridiculous! Banning yoga due to fundamental Islamic-isness??? Ugh! I feel sorry for the Malaysian yoginis.. Anyway, speaking of YOGA, can I practise this 'freely' in Oman (Well, in Muscat at least)... Any yoga studios there that any of you Omanistas know of? Would greatly appreciate info/input as this one is off to work and live in the Omani neighborhood near you.. (well, not quite but I have no idea where I'll be, housing-wise). Thanks Undercover dragon for the welcome comment on my blog. As you can see, a blog virgin like me is taking her time, ha ha!


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