Yesterday's NST online front page headline, here, says it: "Yoga Ban: Don't question fatwa, says Council" referring to the recent ban by the National Fatwa Council on the practice of yoga, a form of Indian exercise, breathing technique and mind control popular worldwide, by Malaysian Muslims.
But in a breaking news today, Singapore's The Straits Times headline screamed: "Sultan questions yoga ban" when it reports, here, that HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor has made an 'unprecedented comment bordering on rebuke' when he said that "Before banning Muslims from performing yoga, Malaysia's top Islamic body should have first consulted the country's nine hereditary rulers who are considered upholders of Islam here".
In his statement, HRH said he hopes that in future, any fatwa decision that touches on issues involving the general public should be referred to the Conference of Rulers to be approved first before it is announced. "This is to ensure that the process of channeling the fatwa decision is implemented wisely to avoid any confusion and controversy," he said.
HRH also said that the fatwa or religious edict on yoga is still not enforceable in Selangor because it has not been brought to the state's Fatwa Committee. "The committee will meet to discuss this matter in greater detail regarding yoga activities in Selangor so that a decision is not made hastily," he said.
None of the other rulers - including Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu, the current Yang Di Pertuan Agong - have commented publicly on the yoga ban since the Council gleefully went on a fatwa issuing spree recently which also include one for tomboys or 'girls who act like boys' or whatever ...
So how about a fatwa on the ISA then, eh?