Quiet protests at mosques

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 09 Jan 2010

Peaceful gathering after Friday prayers

KUALA LUMPUR: Protests at various mosques in Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam and elsewhere in the country went on as planned but they turned out to be largely peaceful and tame.

The protests after Friday prayers, took place in here (three cases), Selangor (four), Pahang (two), and Terengganu (one). No untoward incident was reported.

The protests, which were confined within mosque compounds, lasted between 15 and 30 minutes before the crowd dispersed peacefully.

“The crowds were well-behaved and obeyed police instructions to disperse,” Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said at a press conference.

He also said no arrests were made while the slogans and banners by the protesters were not seditious.

In one of the bigger protests, a large crowd gathered outside the National Mosque here for about 30 minutes.

During the protest, jointly organised by a few Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including the Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (Abim), the crowd chanted “Allahuakhbar!” (God is great) while some carried banners condemning the use the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

There was also a protest at the Kampung Baru mosque that was supported by 50 Muslim NGOs.

Abim honorary-secretary Mohd Raimi Ab Rahim said the gathering was not to question the High Court’s decision but to express their feelings over the matter.

The NGOs later headed to the Dang Wangi police station to lodge a police report over the court ruling, allowing the Catholic weekly Herald to use the word “Allah”.

In Shah Alam, a small crowd gathered at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque premises.

Police stopped the protest when protesters started stomping on posters bearing the image of Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.

In George Town, although there were no protests, police stepped up patrols at all major roads leading to churches following the arson attacks in the Klang Valley.

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Ayub Yaakob said they had beefed up security within the church perimeters.

In Bentong, two NGOs — Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia and state Pertubuhan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia — carried on with their protest in front of the Bandar Bentong Mosque, although only a small group gathered.

In Kuantan, a protest was also held in front of the state mosque where speakers said Malaysians must respect each other’s religions but condemned the attacks on the churches.

Related Stories: Hisham: We won’t compromise on security IGP: Attacks not well-planned Najib condemns attacks Church offered use of MCA hall Culprits have tarnished Islam, says mufti Vandalism is never the answer, says Khalid Leaders of Metro Tabernacle Church forgive attackers Muhyiddin leads leaders in condemning church arson King: Stay calm and respect houses of worship

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