New Delhi: In a scathing attack on the Muslims living in India, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that while Saudi Arabia welcomes Yoga, Muslim clerics in the country continue to remain conservative.
"Muslim clerics here are all so conservative; the whole Islamic world is moving towards modernisation, but these people are still living in the 11th century," Swamy was quoting as saying by ANI.
Swamy also reiterated that Yoga was purely scientific and had got nothing to do with religion as he backed ''Surya Namaskar''.
''Sun is a planet, Hindus may call it god, but you can call it Surya planet," Swamy said.
The reactions from Swamy in the wake of reports that the government in Saudi Arabia approved Yoga under "sports activities" and allowed its citizens to practice it after obtaining a licence from the government.
Nouf Marwaai, a Riyadh-based Yoga expert, who dedicated herself to promote Yoga in the Gulf region, confirmed that the Saudi Ministry had listed Yoga under its sports category.
The order in this regard was passed by the Saudi Ministry of Trade and Industry.
However, notwithstanding Swamy's criticism, a Muslim cleric, Maulana Sajid Rashidi, has welcomed the move, saying that health should not be related to any particular religion.
He also said that Yoga was never prohibited in Islam.
Meanwhile, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev today said that he was sure that with the help of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge), Yoga would soon be certified as a sport in India, and would also be included in Olympics.
"I had requested the earlier sports minister to include Yoga as a sport, but I am sure that with the help of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, we will certify Yoga as a sport in India and will also take it to Olympics," Baba Ramdev said.
He also said the Saudi Arabia Government had taken a "historic step" by declaring Yoga as a sports activity.
Recently, Rafia Naaz, a popular Muslim girl who teaches Yoga in Jharkhand's Ranchi was targeted by the members of her community. A fatwa was also issued against her, asking her to stop teaching yoga.
With ANI inputs