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On 22 April 2014, a group of twenty officers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries participated in a one-day seminar, entitled Understanding Islam, organized jointly by Prime Minister’s Department of Malaysia (JPM) and the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia at Sekolah Latihan JPM, Jalan Lengkok Bellamy, Kuala Lumpur.
This third intensive training programme for ASEAN member countries oriented toward two essential issues in the contemporary discourse on Islam, which are the Islamic principle of waṣaṭīyyah and the contemporary Sunni-Shi‘ah tension. The delegates were welcomed by Datuk Hasanah Binti Abd Hamid, Director General of Research Division, Prime Minister’s Department. The subject of waṣaṭīyyah or moderation and balance in Islam, and its relevance to contemporary calamities had been conferred by two prominent scholars, Professor Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, CEO of IAIS Malaysia, and Professor Dr. Tan Sri M. Kamal Hassan, International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC).