Muslims Protect Catholic Bishop from Rowdy Crowd Outside of Malaysia Court
ICC Note: On February 27, a group of Muslims protected a Catholic bishop from unruly crowd as he was leaving the Federal Court in Kuching, Malaysia. Rowdy crowd outside blocked him from leaving while chanting “Allah Hu Akbar.” The archbishop went there to learn whether or not civil courts have jurisdiction over apostasy cases.
02/28/2018 Malaysia (Malaysia Digest) – While the unruly crowd showed how issues concerning religion in this country can quickly descend into racial tension, the Muslims who chose to protect the Catholic bishop reminded Malaysians what our nation is founded upon.
After the Federal Court in Kuching ruled that civil courts have no jurisdiction over apostacy cases, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuching Archdiocese Most Reverend Simon Poh exited the courthouse to be met with a crowd heckling him and chanting “Allah Hu Akbar”.
The rowdy crowd blocked the bishop from moving forward when something unexpected happened. A group of men clad in Muslim robes quickly formed a protective shield around him to push through the crowd and help guide him towards his car.
The video has since gone viral, as the case had been widely regarded as a landmark case over the sensitive issue of religious conversion.
Although clearly in a tense situation, the bishop made it a point to inform reporters that at no time he felt threatened as he knew he had the support of Muslims who were with him inside the courthouse.
“In Sarawak, we work as friends,” he said, stopping to address reporters before entering his car.
“I am sure you heard the news…There were many good Muslims who were there to escort me safely out to the courthouse, including Sarawak’s Islamic Information Centre chief executive officer Zabariah Matali, who is also a personal friend,” he explained.
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