Cross protest: The kindness of strangers

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 21 Apr 2015

PETALING JAYA: On Sunday a group of residents gathered outside a church in Taman Medan to protest against a cross displayed on the building, claiming that it challenged Islam.

The following is The Star journalist Nicholas Cheng’s (pic) account, which he posted on Facebook:

Guys, I wrote this story today and I want to share with you my experience. I don’t want to focus on the sheer stupidity of those protesting, but the kindness of a girl named Jannah from Sinar Harian who was also covering this protest. We were the only two reporters there and I was the only non-Malay. Being raised Christian myself, its not hard to see why I was affected by this. So my line of questioning to the villagers was … sarcastic.

I asked them, what authority do you have to tell someone else to not have a church here? Who gives you the right to claim this land as Muslim land? How will a cross turn your son into a Christian.

These are sensible questions but of course, some people can’t be swayed with rational thinking. This angered the group and many became confrontational, grabbing my shirt and speaking to me in a threatening manner.

I have to admit, I was pretty scared. In comes Jannah. I’ve never met her before. She came up to me and said, hey ... I think you should stay with me. Don't walk off by yourself. We conducted our interviews together after that. Even at times when I wandered off to try and speak with the pastor, I noticed she followed me closely from behind. And she later even walked me to my car. Wow!

I would have probably been beaten up or worse if it wasn’t for her.

This story is making rounds on FB and Twitter, because it shows the kind of Malaysia we live in. Intolerant, mindless and sometimes unlivable. But there are gems like Jannah who remind me why Malaysia is a beautiful place. I think thats a story worth telling more than a bunch of people angry at a cross. Wherever you are, Jannah … thank you!
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