The Network Secretariat and the Religions for Peace Inter-religious Council for Thailand Secretariat at the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University supported and facilitated a Buddhist – Muslim Interfaith Dialogue, between 1-2 November, in Songkhla, deep South Thailand. The purpose of the dialogue was to provide a safe space for 30 Buddhist and Muslim leaders and lays—both male and female—to exchange their experiences and discuss possible solutions to the violence impacting South Thailand. Dr. Parichart Suwanbuddha (Lead Organizer and Facilitator – Religions for Peace Inter-religious Council of Thailand) shared that trust building advanced during previous and recent dialogues are progressively assisting in the evolution of better relationships among/within the Buddhist and Muslim (both Sunni and Shiite) leaders and lay participants.
Dr. Suwanbuddha stated that after the dialogue both Buddhist and Muslim participants engaged in direct communication to advance, “interreligious cooperation” and will implement an “emergency solidarity visit on behalf of inter-religious leaders” during critical times of escalating violence – in the name of religion – in the deep South of Thailand. This evolving trust is measurably advancing successful dialogues and peace oriented solution discussions and actions in South Thailand.