Cambodian PM reinforces necessity of curbing religious extremism

Prime Minister Hun Manet greets Buddhist nuns during the inauguration of the Buddhist Cultural Centre of Cambodia in Kampong Speu province on May 30. - STPM

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Manet reiterated the need to prevent religious extremism in Cambodia, noting that religious conflict could threaten the kingdom’s peace and stability.

“All religions must unite and ensure that Cambodia is free from religious conflict. This is something we must pay attention to, especially the curbing of extremist forms of all religions,” he said, as he addressed the inauguration of the Buddhist Cultural Centre of Cambodia in Kampong Speu province on Thursday (May 30).

He noted that the Cambodian people, regardless of whether they followed Buddhism, Islam Judaism or Christianity, practise non-extremist forms of their religions and that each of the kingdom’s religious leaders are united and understand one another, which is why there is no religious conflict in the kingdom.

Manet noted that Buddhists and Muslims live in adjacent villages, study in public schools together, work together and have the same opportunities together in the government and the private sector, in a harmonious manner.

“Religious leaders are playing successful roles in the armed forces, as well as in state institutions,” he said.

“It is absolutely necessary to prevent extremist ideologies, both in the religious and non-religious spheres. This means that we must do good deeds together to maintain peace and stability for our future,” he added.

Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Center for Development and Peace, believed Manet’s calls to avoid extremism in all religions were a good thing, as it will help people to live together in peace.

He noted that in a democratic society, people have the right to choose the religion they believe in, adding that promoting the acceptance of different religious beliefs is a positive message, as religious conflict or discrimination must be avoided.

“It is no different than with politics. All religious and political beliefs in a democratic society must be respected. I think that believing in any religion or group of politicians is a normal right in any democratic society because it promotes diversity of religion, voices, and speech.

“Whenever there is a multi-religious, multi-political society, with everyone making a concerted effort to create a prosperous society, there is progress. Everyone should strive to show that their religion contributes to development and how their political parties work hard and do good deeds to develop society,” Kim Eng told The Post on May 30.

He added that without mixed voices and different religious beliefs, society will fall into decline, as people do not share the same heart and mind. Kim Eng noted that even within a single family, there are often different religions and varying political points of view. It is important that diversity be enhanced, as diversity creates strength. - The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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Cambodia , Manet , religion


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