Shripad Yesso Naik, Ayush Minister appealed to the Muslim community to participate in the International Yoga Day and said people who do not want to chant 'Om' can say 'Allah'.
"I met the Muslim delegation today to discuss about the Yoga Day. They have extended full support to the cause and will join us on the Yoga Day. Our motive is to unite people for a better world," Naik said.
The Muslim leaders, included Majlis Ulema e Hind (Uttar Pradesh), President Maulana Syed Kaukab Mujtaba Abidi, and Daudi Bohra community representative Abbas Ali Bohra. They applauded the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Yoga Day.
Bohra said that out of the 177 countries, which have expressed their desire to participate in yoga sessions on the International Yoga Day, 47 were from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). These countries have expressed desire to participate in yoga sessions being organized in the Indian missions, he said. "We as Indians should support Yoga Day as it is on the initiative of India."
Naik said the government took 'surya namaskar' out of the Yoga Day activities, as it can be a tough yoga posture. "We do not want any controversy or opposition over this surya namaskar. If people do not want to chant 'Om', they can say 'Allah'," said Naik.
He said that people with spondylitis and other medical issues will not be able to do it. Yoga was for the well-being of all and has nothing to do with any particular religion.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had said it will launch a campaign against any move by the union government's move to make yoga and 'surya namaskar' compulsory in schools.