The news extract below just illustrates some people's shallow and inconsistent policy.

The poco-poco dance should be allowed if it is for health reasons, said former Perlis Mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin.

There was no rational reason for the dance to be banned by the Perak Fatwa Committee if it did not involve alcohol or free sex, he wrote in his blog Thursday.

Mohd Asri was responding to Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria's recent announcement that the poco-poco dance would be banned, describing it as "haram" to Muslims.

Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambri Abdul Kadir had since said that it would adhere to the ruling made by the committee.

Barisan Nasional Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he thought the edict was a case of misplaced priorities and that the intention behind the dance needed to be considered.

PAS central political bureau member Khalid Samad described the decision as "ridiculous" and "completely unacceptable."

"People are basically doing it for exercise with no religious intentions behind it," he said.

Meanwhile, in Putrajaya, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said the poco-poco dance was just another form of exercise and should not be banned nationwide, Bernama reported.

"The dance differs from one place to another. Even the songs are different. It has probably become an issue in Perak, but in other states, the dance is regarded like another form of an exercise," she told reporters.

"So far, the decision has yet to be gazetted and has not taken effect. When it takes effect, it will only be in Perak as the decision was not the collective decision of the muftis nationwide."

When asked whether the Malaysian Islamic Development Department would consider banning the dance, Mashitah said it would be done if there was a complaint from the public.

"So far, there is no complaint which says that the dance is associated with the elements that contravene Islamic religious teachings. So, if nobody complained, there is no reason for us to study it," she said.


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