Kuala Lumpur, Nov.26 : Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad says that the National Fatwa Council's edict on yoga should not be turned into a religious debate.
"If they believe it is wrong, then it is wrong. It is unfortunate that other people think that it is a slur on their religion," The Star quoted Mohamad as telling reporters after presenting a keynote address at the English and Asia 2008 First International Conference on Language and Linguistics organised by the International Islamic University Malaysia yesterday.
"It is like saying Muslims should not eat pork and it is not an insult to the Chinese. It is the same when Muslims cannot do yoga; it is not because they are insulting the Hindus. It is just that they should not do it. Like all other things forbidden among Muslims, it is not an insult to others," Mohamad said.
"Whether the Malays follow it or not, that is really their business." he said.
Mahathir said he felt sorry that people wanted to make an issue of this.
"Personally, I don't care very much if you stand on your head or stand on your feet. It is not as if by performing yoga you immediately become a non-Muslim," he said.