Low turnout dampens anti-apostasy rally

Barely 4,000 people have filled the 100,000-capacity stadium to mark the start of the assembly of a million believers.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Over an hour into the Himpunan Sejuta Umat (Himpun) and it appears that the hype has exceeded reality.

Barely 4,000 people have filled the 100,00-capacity Stadium Shah Alam and the past 90 minutes have been filled with performances by nasyid groups as the organisers wait for more seats to be filled.

Two notable names have since graced the event: Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali, and PAS Selangor executive council member Hasan Ali.

Himpun (gathering of one million believers) is being held to “defend Islam” and reject apostasy among Muslims and was mooted after the controversial raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) on Aug 3.

It claims to have the backing of 200 NGOs representing four million Muslims nationwide.

Himpun’s co-organiser, Mohd Yusri Mohamed, last week insisted that the rally was not anti-Christians amid rumblings of uneasiness that it could spark further racial tensions.

The organisers today kept to their word after learning that a group not associated with Himpun was distributing a booklet entitled “Siapa Bertanggungjawab Kristiankan Melayu Di Selangor” (Who Is Responsible for Christianising Muslims In Selangor?).