Solidarity rally: Religious leaders call for end to hatred

Multi-racial and multi-religious Malaysians, including religious leaders and clergies, gathered at Dataran Merdeka yesterday to send out a strong message of solidarity for peace and harmonious living to all Malaysians and the peoples of the world. Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Religious leaders attending the “Solidarity4Peace” rally here today pushed for the fostering of peace and harmony and an end to hatred.

Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said the shooting of innocent people in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15 by a deranged white supremacist should serve as lesson to all Malaysians to reject all forms of hatred and instead foster peace.

He said peace was the key to happiness in life.

“We wish for peace, this is taught in the Quran, it is the key to happiness and can only be translated into reality through unity, when our hearts celebrate and understand each other in society.

Also joining the rally was an aunt of Mohd Haziq Mohd Tarmizi, 17, the Malaysian teen who was among 50 Muslims killed after the terrorist went on a shooting spree at two mosques in Christchurch.

Thousands of Malaysians, irrespective of race or religion, attired in white as called for by the organisers, gathered for the rally in front of the Sogo shopping complex by 7.45 am before marching to Merdeka Square (Independence Square) nearby.

Christian Federation of Malaysia representative Julian Leow said the rally sent a clear message to the world that Malaysia would not stand for terrorism and hatred.

“Today we send a message to all Malaysians and the world that we pledge to strengthen the bond of friendship and equality in a country that is united and harmonious.

“We as Malaysians will not only be united in maintaining the existing harmony but redouble our efforts to further strengthen the bond of friendship among us in this beloved country,” he said.

Malaysian Gurdwaras Council representative, Sardar Jagir Singh said the peace and harmony that has existed for so long in the country must be preserved forever.

“We reject terrorism and hatred, remember, united we stand, divided we fall,” he said.

Bahai Community of Malaysia representative S Sanggita urged all Malaysians to stay united and put an end to all forms of racial and religious prejudice.

“As a nation, in Malaysia, we were collectively in a state of deep shock and disbelief at the scale of this horrific act of brutality and at the tragic loss of so many innocent lives eight days ago.

“However, we can aspire to be beacons of hope through our words and actions, through clasping each other’s hands, and desiring with all our hearts, friendship with others, just how we see here in Dataran Merdeka,” she said. – Bernama