Remember this bit of news in November 2008 when Malaysia banned Muslims from practising yoga? Even the venerable Telegraph recorded the news. Another stick to beat the Muslims with!
"The edict reflects the growing influence of conservative Islam in Malaysia, a multi-ethnic country of 27 million people."
According to the director of the Sivananda Ashram in Delhi, "chanting during yoga is to calm the mind and elevate our consciousness".
Well, on 25th November 2011 Father Gabriel Amorth, ..............
.................... the Vatican's Chief Exorcist (appointed by the late Pope John Paul II) declared that 'Practising yoga brings evil as does reading Harry Potter. They ......both deal with magic.
Yoga is the Devil's work. You think you are doing it for stretching your mind and body but it leads to Hinduism.'
Vanda Vanni of the Italian Yoga Association said, 'Yoga ia not a religion. It is about freedom and a search to find one's inner self.'
'Giorgio Furian who runs the Yoga Academy in Rome said: There are some paths of yoga which do lead towards Hinduism but other paths are more philosophical but there is no direct link with religion and certainly no link with Satanism'
Any sign of outrage from the liberals in our part of the world?
When I was in secondary school at Crescent Girls' School there was a lass whose English was superb and we were all in her shadow. We were told this was because she was an avid reader of the Bible. Well, for most of us fed on a diet of Beano and Dandy and Enid Blyton in our primary school years and romance writers like Denise Robins and Hermione Black and Georgette Heyer ( she's more pukka than the first two) during secondary school, we hadn't a hope in hell of catching up with our Bible-reading classmate. However I must confess I love Zane Grey's 'cowboy' books, but they cannot match the prowess of the Bible.
So I was astonished when on 26th November 2011 it was reported that 'The Prime Minister will send every school in Britain a copy of the King James Bible - complete with a foreword by the Education Secretary Michael Gove'
Mr Gove .....
What happened to William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens and Jane Austen and D.H. Lawrence and ......Enid Blyton (please!) ?
Here we are in Malaysia , taunted and accused of being an Islamist state. We have Maznah Mohamad writing in the Guardian on 21 September 2006 ...
...... pondering if Malaysia is an Islamic state, of 'efforts to islamicise the state'. This topic is a hot issue both at home and abroad.
Yet, here's Britain, the mother of all secular states, touting and giving away to children a free copy of the Christian Bible. I wonder, can you still get Gideon's Bible in the hotels in Britain?
On this note I'd like to recall an incident some years ago. At the Multiple Sclerosis Charity Shop at Evington Road Leicester I watched this Muslim lady volunteer worker (in fact she was the manager) picking up Bibles, big and small. from the boxes on the floor and placing them on the top shelf. She turned to me and said, "This is a holy book and should be respected like the Quran."
Then a lady (native Brit) came in and blithely asked , "Can I take these bibles to my church? After all they will never sell!' And she was rewarded for her gumption and left with a stack of Bibles for free.
And go to most Charity shops, you can find plenty of secondhand Bibles for sale! Or you could a few years ago. Perhaps they have a system, like they have for old spectacles, of sending them to the poor coloured countries.