Muslims in Thailand must understand their roles in society and the core values of their religion to cope with a changing world and not resort to violence, an international seminar was told.
The seminar, titled "Islamic Studies in Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities"', was organised by the Prince of Songkla University's Pattani campus was attended by more than 700 people including senior officials, Muslim figures and academics from 40 countries.
Umar Ubaid Hasanah, director of the Department of Research and Islamic Studies of Qatar, said the forum offered a healthy exchange of ideas and views about Islam in the modern world.
Apart from brainstorming ways to improve Islamic studies in Thailand, the seminar also sought academic collaborations with overseas institutions.
Muslims must ask themselves what their roles as citizens of a country should be and how they could realise their full potential, he said.
Mr Umar said bigotry, extremism and violence harms religions but peace can be attained if Muslims refuse to subscribe to radicalism.
"Terrorism and human rights violations degrade humanity. Muslims must attach importance to national development," he said.
He insisted Islam teaches moderation and does not condone violence as a way to solve problems. Such actions only backfire on the Muslims themselves, the director said.
Muhammed Ibraheem Al Saidy, adviser to the Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia, said Muslims and people of other faiths must understand their fundamental religious principles.
He said the establishments of schools for Islamic studies and Islamic institutions have helped eradicate the misconception that some Muslims are bent on violence.
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- Writer: Abdulloh Benjakat