KUALA LUMPUR: A special committee comprising religious leaders and heads of NGOs has decided to hold a rally for peace on March 23, following the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand last week.
The decision was made in a meeting chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
“The peace rally will focus on spreading messages of peace and interracial and inter-religious harmony,” he told reporters after the meeting at the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department today.
“The rally was in the pipeline as part of the committee’s efforts to promote peace in the country, but we decided to bring it forward after what happened in New Zealand last week.”
Fifty people were killed and dozens injured in the shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch last Friday.
Mujahid said it was the committee’s hope that the peace rally could bring Malaysians together and prevent hatred among the people.
“We may not have such incidents in the country, but that is why this rally is needed, to prevent such things from happening.
“We cannot judge how much peace is needed in a country,” he said. “Look at New Zealand: it is a peaceful country, and suddenly this (happened).”
He said the committee aims to hold the rally at Dataran Merdeka and is holding discussions with the authorities for an exemption from the 10-day notice period under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
Also present at the meeting was Federal Territories mufti Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs, Fuziah Salleh.