Dialogue to promote Buddhist and Muslim relations in Myanmar

Dialogue to promote Buddhist and Muslim relations 

KUALA LUMPUR: More than 200 people are expected to attend a dialogue here on Nov 1 to promote Buddhist and Muslim relations in the region.

The inter-faith forum will see an exchange of opinions from participants of various countries to formulate ways in addressing social issues, said conference coordinating organiser KV Soon.

The International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) website said the biennial international gathering would bring together “spiritual friends” to achieve this.

“I think we have passed the stage where we merely sit down with people of other faiths to just discuss the differences or similarities between your religion and mine.

“We are now looking at issues relating to our society, which could be anything from corruption to vice, to see how we can draw common spiritual values to address things affecting the world that we are living in,” said Soon, who is the INEB executive board vice-chairman.

According to its website, the INEB conference has been held every two years since its inaugural gathering in Bangkok in 1989.

The conference has since been hosted in countries such as India, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.

This year’s conference is set to zoom in on Buddhist and Muslim tensions that have occurred in certain countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The inter-faith dialogue will be held on Nov 1 at the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) as part of the nine-day conference starting from Oct 27.

More information may be obtained from www.inebnetwork.org.


Venue:            Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Dates:             October 27 to November 5, 2013

Organizers:  International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB)

International Movement for a Just World (JUST)

Malaysian Network of Engaged Buddhists (MNEB)

Bodhi Bodhi Society, Kuala Lumpur (BODHI)



The social and environmental issues we face today affect people of all religions.  Modern trends towards materialism, consumerism, urbanization, corporate globalization and nationalism are contributing to a wide range of inter-connected challenges: depression, loneliness and suicide, poverty and inequality, communal conflict, environmental degradation and climate change.

As we search for new paths, our religious traditions have a critical role to play.  Religious teachings and practices help us move beyond the material.  They shape our understanding of the world, our values, and our behavior.  Religious teachers and practitioners recognize that personal transformation is the root of global transformation.

In recognition of these shared challenges and opportunities, the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) has been expanding its programs to increase dialog, understanding, and collaboration across traditional religious divides.  This includes divides between institutions and sects in the Buddhist tradition and divides between religious traditions.  In recent years, INEB has participated in and organized inter-faith programs on greed and consumerism, women?s leadership and gender issues, peace and human rights, and climate change and biodiversity.

Every two years, INEB organizes an international gathering of kalyanamitra, which means spiritual friends. In these bi-annual gatherings known as the INEB Conference, opportunities to discuss and formulate ways to address these social issues. The location rotates each year. The INEB Conference held its first in 1989 in Bangkok. The INEB Conference have since been held in Bodhgaya(India) Nagpure(India), South Korea, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. The 2013 INEB Conference will be in Malaysia.  The gathering is an opportunity to learn more about the specific context and challenges of the host country and to exchange more broadly between participants from all of the countries.

The 2013 conference provides an opportunity to increase understanding and engagement with the majority Muslim community.  This is a timely event.  In recent years, there have been examples of Buddhist and Muslim tensions in Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Buddhism and Islam are the two most prevalent religions in Southeast Asia. It is vital that strong bonds of mutual respect and compassion between these two great faiths are maintained and nurtured.

In 2006, INEB organized a Buddhist-Muslim dialog on justice and peace at the SuanDusitRajabhat in Bangkok, which resulted in the Dusit Declaration.  The 2013 INEB Conference in Malaysia will build on these past programs and include a Buddhist-Muslim youth camp, study tours, and dialog on Buddhist-Muslim relations.  Participants from all countries will have an opportunity to learn about the Malaysian experience with inter-sectoral and inter-faith dialog and collaboration.  Besides the dialog, Muslim representatives will be invited to participate in the INEB conference activities to further encourage and foster greater understanding and cooperation. Muslim representatives as well as other representatives from other religions will also be invited.

Interfaith Awareness Youth Camp

Youth Empowerment

for Social Justice, Peace and Sustainability

October 27th – 31st, 2013 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Conference Reader

inside coverpage ineb reference_edit

Read E-book online: Click here
Download this file (INEB Conference 2013 handbook.pdf)INEB Conference 2013 handbook.pdf 12911 Kb


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