Honorable Privy Councillor Gen. Surayud Chulanont presided over the opening session of the 4th International Islamic Studies Conference 2017 on “Islamic Education as a Driving Force for a Peaceful Coexistence and Development”, held at the College of Islamic Studies, PSU, Pattani Campus, from 24-26 July 2017. A welcome speech by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chusak Limsakul, President of Prince of Songkla University, started the event, followed by a report by Assoc. Prof. Imjit Lertpongsombat, Vice President for Pattani Campus. The event was attended by over 500 participants, including Muslim leaders and prominent scholars from 37 countries, such as Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ahmad Msallam al-Khalaileh, Grand Mufti, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Dr. Ahmed Hamad A Jilan, Adviser to Secretary General, Muslim World League (MWL); Prof. Dr. Mustapha Foudil, representative of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Prof. Dr. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Minister the President Office and Diplomatic Adviser to the President of the Republic of Guinea.
On the Thai government’s behalf, the Privy Councillor reaffirmed support and commitment to the development of Islamic studies, while noting its role as a guideline for eliminating conflicts at all levels.
Associate Professor Dr. Chusak Limsakul, President of Prince of Songkla University, pointed out that the present situation poses a great challenge to society’s stability and continuous growth. While institutions that offer Islamic education are sometimes seen as a source of anti-state or extremist movements, in fact, Islam is a religion of peace and teaching humanity against violence. Educational institutions have a common goal to curb violence, drive development and promote peaceful coexistence, the President noted, adding that Prince of Songkla University’s Islamic curriculum must provide students with the right religious principles to meet the world‘s current demands, and that seminars like this one can help create courses with innovative teaching styles for Islamic education in response to the idea of peaceful coexistence.