Second Interfaith Discourse Between Islam and Buddhism Held in Malaysia
On July 7, 2007, Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) and the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association cosponsored a second Islam and Buddhism interfaith exchange, entitled "A Discourse on Islam and Buddhism," at the Wisma Kebudayaan SGM Center in Kuala Lumpur. The first exchange was held on August 5, 2006.
Dr. Wang Yong Bao, deputy president of the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association, and 31 imams from China engaged in lively dialogue with SGM representatives on "World Peace through Upholding Common Values of Faith." The interfaith gathering was the key event in a series of SGM-hosted cultural activities celebrating Malaysian independence day.
In his welcome speech, SGM General Director Choo Kong Fei affirmed, "While we strive toward the construction of world peace, besides looking for similarities, it is also important for us to accept and transcend differences in a search for tolerance and coexistence." Mr. Choo also discussed the concept of the sanctity of life, the importance of respecting women and the spirit of helping the weaker members of society. In his comments on the interfaith exchange, Dr. Wang Yong Bao said that the rare event of philosophical exchanges toward peace between Islam and Buddhism should continue for the sake of future generations.
More thorough discussions on women, family values, compassion, tolerance and coexistence, from the perspectives of Islam and Buddhism, were conducted in small groups. Participants reported that the in-depth dialogues provided them with a foundation to better understand the two religions, and they looked forward to participating in future exchanges.
[Adapted from a report by Soka Gakkai Malaysia and an article in the July 21, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan. Photos courtesy of Soka Gakkai Malaysia.]