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Let the world see that we are peace-loving people

  • Let the world and nation see that hatred has not been established here despite the fact we are predominantly Muslim, and that Malaysians are peace-loving people.

Sin Chew Daily

Some 600 representatives from religious organizations and NGOs across the country assembled since early morning at KL's Dataran Merdeka on Saturday to show their support for the "Solidarity for Peace" rally initiated by minster in the prime minster's department in charge of religious affairs Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, and to show unity with the victims of the terror attacks on Christchurch mosques in New Zealand.

Wearing white, about 200 of then were holding white banners with the messages of "Solidarity for Peace", "World Without Terrorism" and "Reject Hatred" in various languages, marching in high spirit from Sogo towards the Dataran.

There were old and young in the crowd, some holding the national flags and flowers. Several minsters and deputy ministers, along with representatives from NGOs and religious organizations took turns to speak to the participants, calling for an end to all forms of hatred and violence.

The terror attacks on the mosques in Christchurch took place in faraway New Zealand, with Muslims being the targeted victims.

The approximately 60% of Malaysia's Muslim population has invariably suffered tremendous impact from the heinous attacks, and this could have a negative bearing on national unity.

A multiracial country of people from different religious and cultural backgrounds, Malaysia used to be a haven of racial harmony, mutual respect and tolerance during the early years of nationhood. Unfortunately, such harmony is being eroded gradually in more recent years following the trend of modernization of our society, political utilitarianism and religious radicalism.

As a result, racial and religious suspicions and even conflicts have erupted from time to time, including the deadly clash arising from the eviction of a hundred-year-old Hindu temple in USJ last November.

Prejudice and suspicion have been the primary source of conflicts over sensitive racial and religious issues, which will subsequently spawn hatred.

In today's age of information overload, any similar events taking place outside the country will instantly spread to Malaysia and create an unpleasant atmosphere in our multicultural society. Against this backdrop, the government must play a pivotal role in neutralizing the confrontational mood.

In view of this, the "Solidarity for Peace" rally initiated by the prime minister's department couldn't have come at a more appropriate timing.

While memories of the tragic incident in Christchurch are still fresh in people's minds, it is good to have a government platform that can bring all peace-loving Malaysians together to call for a total rejection of hatred in establishing a world characterized by unity and peace.

Let the world and nation see that hatred has not been established here despite the fact we are predominantly Muslim, and that Malaysians are peace-loving people.

 

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