International Buddhist-Muslim Joint Statement

International Buddhist-Muslim Joint Statement

Shared Commitment of Action.
Bangkok, Thailand, 16 June 2013

Buddhist and Muslim leaders from South and South East Asian countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, have gathered in Bangkok, Thailand to address escalating tensions between two communities and potential spread of hatred across the region. The consultation was co-organized by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB), the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), and Religions for Peace (RfP).

We recognize these challenges facing the two communities in the region:

1) Rise of extremism, hate speeches and campaigns and instigation of religious discrimination and violence;

2) Prejudice, fear and hatred caused by ignorance, misperception, stereotyping, negative impact of traditional and social media, simplification and generalization, and communal pressure;

3) Misuse of religion by certain religious, political and other interest groups and individuals;

4) Socio economic dimensions of conflict; and

5) Spillover effects across the region.

We are also deeply aware that if Buddhist and Muslim communities can overcome the challenges that confront them, there is tremendous potential for the growth and development of ideas and values that may help to transform the region. For Buddhist and Muslim philosophies embody gems of wisdom about the purpose of life, the position and role of the human being and her relationship with all other sentient beings and nature which could well liberate contemporary civilization from its multiple crises. The young in these two communities in particular should be imbued with these profound ideas and values about life and its meaning.

We endorse the Dusit Declaration of 28 June 2006 and commit ourselves to implementing its shared action across the region. Our actions will include intra-religious and inter-religious initiatives in education, advocacy, rapid reaction/solidarity visits/early warning/conflict prevention, constructive engagement with the government, strategic common action, and the effective use of media for positive messages. We will also engage in multi-stakeholder partnerships with governments, inter-governmental bodies such as the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the United Nations.

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