Angry crowd push their way into Palace of Justice over "Allah" case

Malaysian Muslim activists pray (front) and demonstrate (back) outside Malaysia's highest court in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 5, 2014.

PUTRAJAYA - A large group of people supporting the exclusive right of Muslims to use the word "Allah" tried to muscle their way into the Palace of Justice.

They became angry and started to push their way in when told that members of controversial non-governmental organisation Comango had been allowed in to witness the proceedings.

Despite leaders from Perkasa and other NGOs trying to calm the situation, the increasingly angry crowd refused to relent.

Police managed to control the crowd, which dispersed after about 20 minutes.

The incident occurred at about 11.15am, before the Federal Court reserved judgement in the leave application by the Catholic Church.

The church is seeking leave to appeal the Oct 14, 2013 Court of Appeal decision that prohibited the Catholic weekly Herald from using the word "Allah".

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia deputy president Abdul Rahman Mat Dali said he did not condone the actions of the crowd but understood their anger.

Earlier, Human Rights lawyer Siti Kassim and several others turned up at the Palace of Justice handing out flowers to those present.

"The way we are going is very worrying and peace-loving Malaysians should speak up," she said.

In Kuala Lumpur, another group of people gathered at a shopping mall in Bangsar to spread messages of unity.

They gathered at Bangsar Village yesterday as the Federal Court was to hear the Herald's application over the use of the word "Allah".

The group handed out purple flowers and balloons to people at the mall and carried signs which promoted peace and unity.

"So much hate, vitriol and rumours are being spread on the matter and we wanted to hold a gathering to counter this and spread peace regardless of the court decision," said activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

She added that the group chose the colour purple as it represents religious tolerance which was needed in this situation.

"There are so many more important things to worry about such as putting food on the table, but we have been arguing about this matter.

"No one is happy," she said, adding that not enough people are out to spread messages of unity instead of hate.

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