Peaceful Palestinian rally sparks controversy

22 Oct 2023 07:11pm
Screenshot of @syedizzathussain story that was shared by Qi Razali on his X account - Qi Razali's X account
Screenshot of @syedizzathussain story that was shared by Qi Razali on his X account - Qi Razali's X account

SHAH ALAM - The recent Palestinian rally at Dataran Merdeka which was intended to be a peaceful gathering in solidarity with the Palestinian cause has taken an unexpected turn, igniting controversy.

Actor Qi Razali shared a screenshot of a story on his X account, where a person who had attended the rally with the handle @syedizzathussain expressed his disappointment with the event's organiser @vivapalestinamy, and specifically Dr Musa Nordin, who he claimed had talked down to their group at the rally.

The contentious issue arose when some participants held up placards featuring the image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, branding him a "war criminal."

"Very disappointed with the organiser, especially Dr Musa, for using his stage to talk down to us, just for holding up a placard of war criminal Netanyahu, which the whole world, including those who have attended Palestine rallies in the United Kingdom and the United States, are doing," Syed said in the post.

Syed also wrote in his post that Dr Musa reportedly went further, referring to the placard bearers as ‘Zionist Israel’.

"Is it not the truth? Are we not peaceful? Shame on you,” he shouted in the rally at Dr Musa.

Syed added that this is the most lacklustre demonstration he had ever attended.

“The organisers also warned the attendees not to chant "Allahu Akbar," stating that the rally was open to all Malaysians.

“This decision raised eyebrows, considering Malaysia's predominantly Muslim population.

"Why are you afraid to uphold the kalimah in your country? What stupidity is this?" he questioned in the post.

"Do you think that if we shout 'Allahu Akbar,' we will force non-Muslims to do the same or convert them to Islam? What logic are you using? Even on our land, you're still afraid, still afraid of the Jewish Zionists," he added.

The controversy surrounding the peaceful rally led Syed to stress the importance of peaceful demonstrations by taking examples from countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.

He said if peace cannot be maintained, it might be better for participants to stay at home.

Besides, he also added that the event's standard operating procedure (SOP) called for attendees not to incite hatred, yet it was the organisers themselves who appeared to have created a divisive atmosphere.

"We were there peacefully and did not have any intention to create hatred. We were there to express the least that Malaysians can do, miles away from Palestine," he said.

Commenting further, Syed also shared on his Instagram story his sentiments regarding the incident in Malaysia.

He expressed his disappointment that those who confiscated the placard featuring Netanyahu, labeling him as the accursed Zionist, and referred to the participants as Zionists were not in any way affiliated with IDF Israel, were not Zionist settlers, and were not anti-Islam.

“Instead, they were identified as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) known as Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM).

"We demand a public apology from @vivapalestinamy," he expressed in his Instagram story.

Qi who had shared Syed's story shared his opinion on the matter saying that he did not think that non-muslims in Malaysia would be offended by Islamic terms or chants.

"Please don't tell me it is to 'jaga hati' (to not offend) the non muslims. We live in a country where we hear the adhan five times a day. I don't think they would be offended with us chanting 'Allahuakbar', especially if the victims (in Palestine) are all mostly Muslims themselves. Malaysians are better than this I know," he posted on his X account.

Malaysians took to the comment section to share their thoughts and responses to the incident.

X user @jamesunited16 commented for the rally to be held again next week, while @njanshaamzah said he was quite surprised by the crowds reaction to the incident.

Another X user @E710Xx expressed disappointment and scepticism, describing the efforts to gather a large number of people for this cause as a shame and, to some extent, nonsensical.

“So you don't need to join that team from now on.

“It's more like nonsense. It's a shame, it's not easy to gather a lot of people, and then there are terms like that?” @E710Xx commented.

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