Contemplation Center Denies Islamists "Buddhism" Missionary Allegations

[29-11-2010 12:00 AM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - The Jordanian-Thai Center for Contemplation and Self-Development stressed on Sunday that the facility is a cultural commission and does not engage in any missionary activities promoting Buddhism or any other religion.

Thai Centre for Contemplation and Self-Development stressed that it is legally licensed and registered in accordance with the Kingdom's laws.

The Center's reaction comes in response to allegations by the Islamic Action Front (IAF) on Sunday which criticized the inauguration of the headquarters of "Jordanian -Thai Center for Contemplation and Self-development," noting that Thai media referred to the center as a "launching point for missionary work for Buddhism."

Director General of the Gendarmerie Department, Major General Tawfiq Tawalbeh, had inaugurated the center last Tuesday in a ceremony held in the Dead Sea and attended by Thai Ambassador in Amman, Isinthorn Sornvai, and a number of other ambassadors and representatives of civil society organizations.

IAF Secretary General Hamzeh Mansour noted in a letter sent to Prime Minister Samir Rifai on Sunday that a Thai Television Network commented on the inauguration as "the first time Buddhism is propagated in Jordan publicly and officially, we believe Jordan is a suitable nation to spread Buddhism."

IAF criticized the official publicity of the inauguration, questioning in the letter "how Jordan, where the constitution corfirms Islam as the state religion, would allow the establishment of a center to propagate beliefs that contradict the religion of the state?"

The letter also questioned how Jordan became the first Arab nation that Thailand obtains such a permit to operate a center.

IAF called on the government to investigate the issue and "hold accountable anyone who transgresses on the official religion and identity of the state."

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