Much ado, aduh.Sub title - The Games People Play
When I arrived in Indonesia some twenty years ago I walked with the aid of a walking stick, not because of my decrepitude but because I was recovering from a slipped disc. Apart from swimming (and sex), the best cure I found was a regular session of yoga, exercises which are an aid to wholeness in that you need a clear mind to focus on what your body is doing. (Which is where it can differ from sex.)
That the 'clear minds' of the majority of its practioners may be, or more rightly may have been, Hindu is, to my mind, irrelevant. Purity of mind and body is something to seek, especially when faced with the many serious issues facing humankind. I'm not referring to the matter of money, which has transformed itself back into the fairy dust it has always been. Nope, we're seeing a continuing population explosion along with the disappearance of water, food, icecaps, forests, species and, perhaps above all, common sense.
Why else should Malaysian Muslims issue a fatwa
against the practice of yoga?*
The problem is that the Indian physical exercise contains spiritual elements including chanting and Hindu worship practices that could corrupt Muslims
. (I won't profane this post by listing the Islamic chants which are all pervasive in most neighbourhoods in Indonesia.)
But hey, I hear you cry, why should what happens in Malaysia bother you in Indonesia?Quite simply
, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) is telling Indonesian Muslims to stop practicing yoga while the council investigates the practice after public concern rose when a Malaysian top Muslim body banned the practice.
Put simply, the Indonesian Ulema Council are meek followers of whichever force threatens to lead where they should. They'd sooner allow polygamy and underage marriages in the name of their religion, than to allow the good and pure elements of other religions 'pollute' their blinkered minds.
It is in the spirit of bigotry, rather than the notion of pluralism enshrined in the nation's constitution, that I offer the following. It is a game designed to "pierce the pretensions of extremist religious zealotry with humor
You get to choose which religion you want to bash. This week, it seems that Hindus are in the sights of zealots.Playing Gods : The Board Game of Divine Domination
bills itself as "the world's first satirical board game of religious warfare
."Three-inch plastic figurines include Jesus bashing people with a cross, Moses slugging away with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the Buddha with a machine gun, and a turbaned fellow with a bomb and a dagger vaguely hinting at Mohammed, all to be set loose to "force the people of the world to worship you."Ben Radford, 38, of Rio Rancho, N.M., managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, says "much of the world's violence is rooted in religion," so he thought directly mocking various images of God and religious followers would "make more social commentary" and "pierce the pretensions of extremist religious zealotry with humor."Says Radford, "I didn't want to leave out a Muslim figure just because it might be offensive. The game is satire. But I went out of my way to be innocuous. The figure is not named. It could be any Muslim leader.
This game is certain to offend those who enjoy finding reasons to be offended, but isn't this a better way to play out one's pretensions to following the One True Path? Let your anger out on three-inch plastic figures rather than in terrorist outrages, mob rule and war.