KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Islamic clerics in a Malaysian state want Muslims to avoid a popular dance they claim has Christian influences.
The “poco-poco” is a line dance that is common at social events in Muslim-majority Malaysia. It is widely thought to have originated in Indonesia.
Islamic scholars in Malaysia’s Perak state say they believe the “poco-poco” is traditionally a Christian dance and that its steps make the sign of the cross.
State cleric Harussani Idris Zakaria said Friday the scholars have issued an edict forbidding the dance. It is not clear if other states will ban it.
Some Muslims insist the ban is unnecessary. Malaysian clerics have also banned yoga for Muslims and barred girls from behaving like tomboys, but the edicts are not legally binding.
Below, the Poco Poco dance