CHENNAI: Two Muslim outfits have come up with divergent views on International Yoga Day celebrations in Tamil Nadu on June 21, with one conditionally endorsing it and other dismissing it as not being in conformity with Islamic tenets.
As many as 33 organisations in Tamil Nadu will celebrate Yoga Day on June 21, and will also hold one month free Yoga camp on the occasion.
The Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy, an autonomous body under Department of AYUSH, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has given its nod to the organisations to hold the camp.
However, the top leader of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and MLA (Ramanathapuram), MH Jawahirullah, said: "Yoga minus Hindu elements like recitation of slokas is fine."
"I myself practice the breathing exercise. But Suryanamaskar is worshipping the sun and it is unacceptable," he told PTI.
"Asking Muslims to do Suryanamaskar goes against Islamic tenets," he added.
Stressing that Yoga practices that have features against Islam should not be imposed on Muslims, he said the Constitutional guarantee to practice and profess any religion should not be infringed upon.
"There should absolutely be no compulsion and only as physical exercise without any religious connotations Yoga is fine."
President of Tamil Nadu Thowheeth Jamaath (TNTJ) Fakeer Mohammed Althafi said, "Yoga is not necessary for us, Muslims. The reason for saying so is that today the yoga exercises have been integrated in toto with Hindu religion. Hence, we do not accept it."
"Aspects like Suryanamaskar, recital of slokas, Guru Vanakaam (Guru worship) are not related to physical exercise but linked to religion. By mixing up such things with yoga they claim that it is yoga (exercise)," he added.
On the views by Muslim outfits, Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan said, "Yoga has beneficial effects and it must be seen on that lines and the ancient system belongs to all irrespective of religion or caste."
"Yoga may have originated from Hindu religious traditions, but its benefits should go to all," she added.