KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today it will not support Saturday’s gathering of a million Muslims as Islam is not facing the threat of Christianisation.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a press conference today that there was no reason to fear the church as “we have all the power and laws to enhance the understanding of Islam but it has not been done” by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
“Instead, those in power only inculcate fear. We have never believed that Islam is being threatened by Christianisation,” the PKR de fato leader said.
The Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Himpun) or Gathering of a Million Faithful, is organised by various right-wing religious groups calling for Muslims to rise up against the “challenge of Christianisation.”
The rally was mooted after the controversial raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) on August 3 where it was alleged that Christians were proselytising to Muslims there.
About 1,000 Facebook users have confirmed their attendance so far but should Himpun draw much more this weekend, it could push Umno and PAS to seek relevance among more religious Malays.
With ethnic tensions already rising in the years following the 2008 general election, it could raise already simmering fears of Islamisation among non-Muslims and more liberal Malays.
Anwar (picture) added that after PAS said last night it would not back Himpun as the organisers wanted it to be apolitical, PKR had also decided to follow suit as “there can be negative impact” to inter-faith relations.
“But we have compelling evidence to suggest that Umno is involved as its media is playing it up and they only support an event if it is backed by Umno,” the Permatang Pauh MP said.