BANGKOK, April 9 — The Muslim community in Thailand should not be confused between the process of Arabisation and the demands of Islamisation in pursuing their religious faith.
Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Nasharuddin Mat Isa said Arabisation was a trend that not only happened in Malaysia, but also in the region.
“What should be enlivened is the process of Islamisation and not Arabisation, because not all Arabs are Muslim,” he said when met by Bernama after delivering his keynote address at a seminar on moderation at Chulalongkorn University.
The seminar, with the title ‘Moderation — Islamic Approach to Face the Global Transition on Asean-Thailand’ is attended by Islamic academicians in Thailand, as well as Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussain and former Asean secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Surin Pitsuwan.
Nasharudin, who was appointed GMM ceo in 2015, said many people wanted to be Arabs thinking that “Arab is Islam and Islam is Arab”.
The Malays, he said, were rich in culture that did not contradict Islamic teachings.
“For as long as the culture (practised) does not contradict the syarak (Islamic teachings), it is not prohibited in Islam,” he added.
Meanwhile, Surin, who is former Thai Foreign Minister, in his speech at the seminar, said Malaysia and Indonesia was now faced with the problems of Arabisation of their culture. — Bernama