Muslim outfits in Mumbai slam ‘compulsory’ Yoga Day order in schools

‘Bowing only allowed during Namaz, can’t bow before Sun God’

Written by Dipti Singh | Mumbai | Updated: June 3, 2015 2:08 pm
Yoga Day, Yoga, Muslims object Yoga, Yoga objected by muslims, UN Yoga Day, June 21 schools, schools June 21, Mumbai news, India News, Indian express The government has passed orders to keep all schools open on Sunday, June 21, to mark International Yoga Day

A day after Maharashtra government passed a diktat for schools to remain open on Sunday, June 21, to mark International Yoga Day, several Muslim outfits in Mumbai slammed the order saying that yoga, including Surya Namaskar, requires a person to bow (to Sun God), and bowing was a practice reserved for Namaz.

The Muslim organisations have decided to meet the chief minister on Wednesday asking that Yoga sessions be not made compulsory. “It is detrimental to our religious freedom. Islam being a monotheistic religion, the followers cannot bow before anyone except Allah, and it is wrong to impose such things on Muslims,” said Mohammed Zahoor Ahmed, education secretary of Jamat- e-Islami Hind.

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“Yoga has Surya Namaskar which means bowing to the Sun God. Muslim students may not be comfortable doing this. Muslims taking up Yoga should be a voluntary move, making it mandatory is unfair.”

June 21 was declared as the International Day of Yoga by the UN General Assembly in December 2014, following which the state government had asked schools to devise programmes to mark the day.

Mohammed Salman, president of Students Islamic Organisation’s Mumbai Chapter, said: “We do not mind if they introduce any activities which help students. However, forcing it on them would disturb harmony and peace and damage the very foundation of secularism.”

In May, the school education department had directed schools to mark the day, and had set up a 24-member committee to chalk out guidelines for Yoga Day. Though School Education and Sports Minister Vinod Tawde had then said schools could celebrate it on another day, on Monday he urged schools to call students on Sunday, June 21.

All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen MLA from Byculla Waris Pathan called the move “unconstitutional”. “If students choose Yoga, Sanskrit, Gita recitation voluntarily, it’s fine with us, but making them mandatory is unconstitutional. This, according to me, is an indirect way of promoting a ‘Hindu rashtra’ by the BJP government. Recently, a Muslim girl won prize for Gita recitation, no Muslim organisation objected to that as it was her decision,” claimed Pathan.

A senior official of the school education department, the nodal authority implementing the government order, said the office was looking at it purely as a “physical activity”.

Schools, meanwhile, said they were mulling if the state government could relieve the compulsory tag and allow the children leave on Sunday.

“While the minister claims Yoga Day may help students de-stress, we think it will overburden students if we call them on Sundays for Yoga. Students already have too many activities… hence starting mandatory Yoga practice will not be feasible. Some schools in the city already offer Yoga as an activity, though it is voluntary,” said the principal of a school in south Mumbai.

dipti.singh@expressindia.com

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  1. J
    James mark
    Jun 3, 2015 at 3:51 am
    Who are these Muslims to tell us what we should be doing in our own lands? If try want to practice their Islam, then we suggest you getting out of our INDIA and practicing your heinous religion in stan and Saudi Arabia. India is no longer going to be secular and start counting your days, because Islam is going to be soon banned in our lands. This is our country, not yours.
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      Avi
      Jun 3, 2015 at 11:36 am
      These stupid group of Muslims, for a day, open your mind! Yoga is not religion but about your body! Please go to stan if you donor want to adopt best practices of India
      Reply
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        Ahamed Rashvi
        Jun 3, 2015 at 6:10 pm
        Yoga is good. No second opinion on that. But forcing it on students and making them come to school on Sunday is totally unnecessary. Most schools have optional yoga cles already. The issue here is making it compulsory, not Yoga itself
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        1. M
          mohamed
          Jun 3, 2015 at 12:07 pm
          Actually Muslims worship the ONE who created the RISING SUN and the setting sun. Quran says "And of His signs are the night and day and the sun and moon. Do not prostrate to the sun or to the moon, but prostate to Allah , who created them, if it should be Him that you worship"
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          1. M
            mohamed
            Jun 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm
            Yoga's Place in the Hindu religion and_Hindu_Philosophy.htm "Yoga is an integral part of the Hindu religion. There is a saying: “There is no Yoga without Hinduism and no Hinduism without Yoga." The country of origin of Yoga is undoubtedly India, where for many hundreds of years it has been a part of man's activities directed towards higher spiritual achievements. The Yoga Philosophy is peculiar to the Hindus, and no trace of it is found in any other nation, ancient or modern. It was the fruit of the highest intellectual and spiritual development. The history of Yoga is long and ancient. The earliest Vedic texts, the Brahmanas, bear witness to the existence of ascetic practices (tapas) and the vedic Samhitas contain some references, to ascetics, namely the Munis or Kesins and the Vratyas. " This is why Muslims are opposed to it being implemented by the govt. It is one thing to do streching/breathing exercises which are derived from Yoga
            Reply
            1. A
              Aaron
              Jun 3, 2015 at 2:24 pm
              And you are Sherlock Holmes unwanted sperm who found his way to India
              Reply
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                Aaron
                Jun 3, 2015 at 2:20 pm
                Don't blanket me with this group - they do not follow my Islam. So don't paint me based on a statement from some who does not know head nor tail of religion
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                  Aaron
                  Jun 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm
                  I am a Muslim. I will do Yoga. I will bow while doing Surya Namaskar and if there's anyone who will judge me on this is God - not some unknown moronic group claiming to represent Islam. I live in this country - I am a human first; then an Indian and then a Muslim. None of these GROUPS can dictate a single thing in my life - I will follow my religion, you follow yours.
                  Reply
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