KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — Muslim youth and undergraduate associations are backing the Himpun rally, set for this weekend to fight alleged widespread proselytisation of Muslims to Christianity.
Persatuan Belia Islam Nasional (PEMBINA), Gabungan Mahasiswa Islam SeMalaysia (GAMIS), Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semanjung (GPMS) and
Wakil Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar (MPP) estimates that a total of 100,000 youths and undergraduates will attend the rally at Shah Alam Stadium over the weekend, which has been given a permit by the police.
“It is a legitimate rally with a permit and we seek the Ministry of Higher Education and other relevant authorities to help facilitate this event” said Zambri Mohd Isa, GPMS Secretary-General.
Zambri has also emphasised that the rally is peaceful and apolitical, with the main aim of creating awareness and voicing out against proselytisation.
The Malaysian Insider had reported about the planned gathering of a million Muslims this Saturday to rally against Christians “challenging the sovereignty of Islam”, an event which may raise religious tension already intensified in recent months by allegations of proselytising by Christians.
Himpun is being organised by various right-wing groups such as Perkasa with the backing of both Umno and PAS Youth in what appears to be a coming together of conservative Muslims.
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.