Friday, July 17, 2015

French Ambassador: Brunei Can Play Role in Combating Islamaphobia

Her Excellency Loan Forgeron, French Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam

QURATUL-AIN BINDLE
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, July 16, 2015

BRUNEI can play an important role in combating terrorism and Islamophobia by promoting its “moderate” brand of Islam, said the French ambassador to the Sultanate.

Loan Forgeron lauded the long-standing security relationship between the two countries, saying both parties shared close cooperation in counter terrorism and monitoring transnational borders.

“We know now the very violent context of our modern world. There are terror groups present in Malaysia and Indonesia, so it is very important to secure borders because Daesh (the Arab name for the terror group known as the ‘Islamic State’) is expanding everywhere, recruiting from this part of the world,” she said in a recent interview.

“Brunei has not been infiltrated by these groups because for a long time the government’s policies reflects and anticipates what could happen here.”

The envoy said police cooperation through training in security, narcotics and human trafficking continues to play an important role in the bilateral relationship between Brunei and France.

Forgeron said recent terror attacks in France by so-called ‘Islamic’ militants, has created a very troubling public image for Islam, with Islamophobia creeping into the mindsets of ordinary citizens.

“We have many Muslims in France, around 15 million and they live in peace with many other religions. But terrorist attacks could create a (misunderstanding). Some people equate Islam with terrorism… It is very important for us to show Islam is not synonymous with terrorism and Brunei is a good example of that,” she said.

“I want to develop this image of Brunei in France… His Majesty during his reign made many efforts to promote this image of peace, within ASEAN, with the Western countries and the rest of the world.”

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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