Minister calls for calm after incident outside Johor mosque

Some members of the mosque congregation attacking the white car with plastic cones and a helmet after the driver honked repeatedly during Friday prayers in a Johor housing estate when his way was blocked.
Some members of the mosque congregation attacking the white car with plastic cones and a helmet after the driver honked repeatedly during Friday prayers in a Johor housing estate when his way was blocked.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

JOHOR BARU • A Malaysian minister has called for calm after an incident where an ethnic Chinese couple and their car were attacked by Malays for honking repeatedly during Friday prayers in a Johor housing estate.

The driver, an engineer, honked as the mosque congregation had parked their vehicles along a public road, totally blocking the car's path in the Taman Austin housing estate.

When the congregation came out, some of the members attacked the white car with plastic cones and a helmet.

Video clips of the incident have been shared widely, with heated comments supporting or attacking the altercation.

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Police have arrested four people. The engineer and the woman with him later came out from the car and were attacked.

'SHOW CONSIDERATION TO OTHERS'

We are not the only ones using the roads; others also have the right to use them in a lawful manner. They may have an emergency, or they could be non-Muslims who need to get somewhere, or Muslims who are not involved in prayers because they are women, travellers and the like.

PERLIS MUFTI ASRI ZAINUL ABIDIN, urging Muslims to show consideration to others on the road, especially when parking their vehicles during Friday prayers and Hari Raya.

A blog showed an official signboard in the area that said the road, Jalan Pujangga, is closed for 21/2 hours every Friday starting at noon. During this time, it is used as a carpark for those going to the mosque for prayers.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed called for calm, saying that a little tolerance would have gone a long way.

The driver should not have honked although his way was blocked by vehicles, he said, while the congregation should not have acted violently.

"The men who attacked the driver could have talked to the driver instead of attacking him," said Datuk Nur Jazlan.

"It shows that this kind of incident is just waiting to happen."

The mufti for the northern state of Perlis, Mr Asri Zainul Abidin, urged Muslims to show consideration to others on the road, especially when parking their vehicles during Friday prayers and Hari Raya.

Saying he was not referring to "the case in Johor", he wrote on his Facebook page that he was offering general advice.

"We are not the only ones using the roads; others also have the right to use them in a lawful manner.

"They may have an emergency, or they could be non-Muslims who need to get somewhere, or Muslims who are not involved in prayers because they are women, travellers and the like," Mr Asri wrote.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2017, with the headline 'Minister calls for calm after incident outside Johor mosque'. Print Edition | Subscribe