Muslims reach out to Christians with oranges, flowers

Ally Hazran Hashim, who organised the event, had posted his plan on Facebook and invited others to join him.

Malaysia
Feb 04 2014, 3:08 PM
Muslims reach out to Christians with oranges, flowers
Ally Hazran Hashim (right) with a group of friends meeting parishioners, including Father George Harrison (left).

In a remarkable gesture, a group of Muslims handed out oranges and flowers to worshippers outside Kajang Holy Family Church after morning mass on Sunday, amid heightened religious and racial tension that has enveloped the nation.

Ally Hazran Hashim, who organised the event, had posted his plan on Facebook and invited others to join him.

"I am practising what my religion taught me. Islam is peace. I believe if you do things with good faith, people will see it in good light. We are creating love," he said.

A resident in Kajang for 12 years, Ally, a training consultant, said the gesture was to extend the Malaysian spirit of goodwill to Christians and to reinforce the message that not all Muslims have antagonism towards Christians.

"We do not want another racial riot. There is so much tension these days," said Ally, “We are here out of love for our brothers and sisters.”

He hoped that the gesture would inspire Muslims and others. "Don’t just offer love at churches but other place of worships like mosques," said Ally, 46.

Ally said he was dismayed by recent events, including the Molotov cocktail attack against a Penang church and racist postings during the Hindu festival, Thaipusam.

"People should refrain from commenting on other religions and strengthen their own faith and beliefs. We have lived in peace for more than half a century; let us continue living in peace and harmony," he said.

Parish priest Father George Harrison praised Ally and his friends for their act. "I have always urged people not to look at problems but look at positive ways to build bridges with our sisters and brothers in Islam.” He said the gesture of love should also be extended to pupils in schools.

This is the second group in a month to organise a show of solidarity with Christians. On January 5, a group led by social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir handed out flowers at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Klang, following threats by Muslim clerics and Muslim NGOs to protest against Christian insistence on using the word Allah in their Bahasa Malaysia mass.

The tussle over the use of the word ‘Allah’ has been in court since 2008. Every time a ruling is made on the issue, there are attacks on churches.

Source: Malaysian Insider

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