Rise above hatred, urges Mujahid at solidarity rally

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa addressing rally goers at a candlelight vigil for victims of the recent bombings in Sri Lanka.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians must prove to the world that peace is stronger than violence, Islamic affairs minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa said tonight at a rally in solidarity with victims of the Easter Sunday bombings of churches in Sri Lanka.

Mujahid told a crowd of 100 at a vigil here that Malaysians must stand above the hatred.

Representatives from different religious associations were also in attendance.

He recalled a similar gathering of solidarity following an attack on mosques in Christchurch earlier this year.

“So today we are gathered with the same spirit where we do not distinguish whether the victims are (followers of) the mosque, the church or other houses of worship because it (the attacks) is a violent culture that uses religion to justify their action.

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (third from right) was among the ministers who attended the rally.

“While this incident did not happen in Malaysia, we want to send this message to Malaysians, this message of peace, (and) that we are united in rejecting any efforts that threaten harmony in our society.”

He thanked the police for beefing up protection at places of worship in Malaysia following the Sri Lanka tragedy.

Members of the public hold up placards, candles and flowers at the rally near Dataran Merdeka.

Mujahid later spoke at a candlelight vigil and solidarity gathering near Dataran Merdeka, also attended by Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok, Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar, rights activists and representatives from the Sri Lankan embassy.

A total of 253 people were killed and about 500 wounded, in a series of bomb attacks on three churches and two hotels at 8.30am on Easter Sunday. Most of the victims were Sri Lankans. Authorities said at least 38 foreigners were also killed.