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Under martial law security forces can now search and detain any Muslim without a warrant

1.  After Mass Arrests, Muslims Flee South Thailand  
[By Kazi Mahmood, Islamonline(IOL)Southeast Asia correspondent]

Terrorized by the latest spree of mass arrests and a crackdown on Islamic schools by the Thai authorities, scores of Muslims, including scholars and leaders, are either hiding or fleeing south Thailand."The Thai government is using the recent attacks on soldiers as a reason to order mass arrests and impose fear on Muslims in south Thailand, causing many innocents to flee their homes," a Pattani teacher, who wanted to remain anonymous

 

2. Aspects of Islam in Thailand Today
[Today  BY ISIM NEWSLETTER 3/99 (IMTIYAZ YOUSUF)]

 Thai Muslims and their co-religionists in Sri Lanka and Burma provide three examples of Muslim minority communities living in Theravada Buddhist majority countries. Two main groups comprise the Thai Muslim community: the ‘native Muslims’, or the Malays residing in the southern provinces, and the ‘settled/naturalized ’ Muslims of different ethnic backgrounds residing across the country – hence the ethnic, linguistic, cultural and political variation within the Thai Muslim community. The southern Muslims make up the majority (approximately 700,000, or 80%) of the total current Thai Muslim population (approximately 5-7 million).

   


Some of the 300 Muslim demonstrators arrested by policemen and soldiers lie on a pavement

3.Bungling and Brutality Stir Anger in Southern Thailand  [By John Gee Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,January/February 2005, pages 36, 76]

 Seven Muslims were shot dead during a demonstration outside the police station at Tak Bai, in Narathiwat province. The 3,000 protesters had gathered to demand the release of six villagers who were accused of giving their government-issued guns to separatist militants. Soldiers and police shot at the demonstrators, claiming that they had been fired upon first. After the shooting, over 1,300 men detained on the spot were made to lie down upon the ground.

 

4. Islam in Thailand  
[BY WIKIPEDIA]

Islam is most popular in southern Thailand, near the border with Malaysia, where the vast majority of the country's Muslims, predominantly Malay in origin, are found. The remaining Muslims are Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants in the urban centers, ethnic Thai in the rural areas of the Center and South (varying from entire Muslim communities to mixed settlements), and a few Chinese Muslims in the far north. Also, Cambodian Muslims can be found between the mutual border and Bangkok as well as the deep south. Education and maintenance of their own cultural traditions are vital interests of these groups.

   
Contemplative Chin Haw, Chiang Mai.

5.  The Crescent in North Thailand:Muslims of Chiang Mai   [CPAmedia(Text copyright © Andrew Forbes / CPA 2004.)]
The Muslim population of Chiang Mai is not particularly large - according to the 1980 census it comprised a mere 2.5% of the city's overall total - but it is successful, diverse, and (at least in the main Muslim neighbourhoods) very noticeable. Four main areas of Muslim settlement are readily identifiable by their mosques, halal restaurants, men sporting prayer caps and women wearing head veils. Two of these areas (Chang Peuak and South Changklan) are predominantly Bengali, or South Asian in character, whilst two others (Ban Haw and Sanphakoi) are predominantly Yunnanese.

 

6.Muslims tout assimilation in north Thailand  
[By Vaudine England  (THE NEW YORK TIMES:Saturday, August 13, 2005)]

CHIANG MAI, Thailand: Verasak Leartpoonvilaikul looks like any other cheerful, well-fed resident of this northern Thai city, which is dense with Buddhist temples and market stalls for tourists. Unlike most of his neighbors, however, he prays five times a day toward Mecca. Verasak is a leading figure at the Ban Ho mosque in Chiang Mai. This spacious compound, including a boarding school and kindergarten, dates to 1915 and is still the center for a community of Muslims from the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. A dedicated pocket of Islam, the compound is found on a lane snaking off from the Night Bazaar, where scantily clad tourists seek bargains on fake soccer shirts and opium pipes.

   

7. Origins of Islam in Thailand  
[By Thai2arab.com]

Historical evidence shows that Thailand established close ties with Muslim Nations as early as the beginning of the Sukhothai period, whereby the first stone inscription of King Ramkamhaeng depicted the word “pasarn” – meaning a dry market. It was believed that this word originated from the Persian vocabulary as "Ba-Za-r. " The appearance of the Persian vocabulary shows a connection with the Muslim World.

Thai forces guard the bodies of slain Muslims

Thai forces guard the bodies of slain Muslims

8.Shock and Awe in Pattani  
[By  Kareem M. Kamel, PhD By IslamOnline(IOL)]
 

The smell of blood hung over the Krue Se mosque... Its historic brick walls were marred by hundreds of bullet holes. Its marble floors were gouged where rocket-propelled grenades exploded. A torn, bloodstained Koran lay salvaged in the courtyard… Muslim rebels chose to die Wednesday in a hail of lead and shrapnel rather than surrender to police… To many, the dead were heroes.

   

Amornrut Panwongrod, left, and Kulnaree Lohwithee, right, are proud to be living in Thailand as Muslims.  

9.  Solidarity among Muslims and Buddhists is not out of reach  
[By Kulnaree Muna Lohwithee (Bangkokpost, October 30,2007)]

Thailand's population of 65 million includes Buddhists, Christians and Muslims. Although most people in Thailand are Buddhists, other religions such as Islam are respected as well. We have been given the freedom to practice our religion. Today, there are over seven million Thai Muslims residing in the country, and estimates place Muslims at nearly 10 percent of Thailand's total population.

Image

10. Thailand Perpetuating the Taming of Islam in Patani  
[By Kazi Mahmood (ISLAMONLINE)]

According to the year 2000 official statistics, Thailand’s Muslim population is now 6,000,000, out of a total population of 60 million. The majority of the country’s Muslims are in the southern parts of Thailand, such as Satun, Jala, and Fatani.

   
 

11.Thailand: Culrural & linguistic identity
[By Prapart Brudhiprabha]
 

The Kingdom of Thailand is anomaly among the South-east Asian nations. Much of her uniqueness is in large part a result of the lack of a colonial past. The Thai people are synthesis of a wide array of cultures.  

 

12.Thailand: History, Thammasat University
[By  Thanet Aphornsuvan (Thammasat University  )]
 

The Muslims are a significant minority group in Thailand. They are the second largest minority next to the Chinese. The Muslims had their own kingdom in the southernmost Thailand from which the living history and culture of its people still lives 

   
 

13. Thailand: Islam, lowy Institute
[International Policy, Australia]

The workshop focused on how changes in the religiosity, identity and worldview of Thai Muslims were impacting on their relationship with the Thai state and its predominantly Buddhist society. The workshop was organised into three sessions: the first considered the ways in which Muslim religiosity, sense of identity and worldview had changed in recent years, including how changes in Buddhist religiosity and identity had impacted on the Muslim community; the second examined how these changes impacted on Muslim attitudes toward the Thai state and society at large; and the third session looked specifically at the role changes in religiosity, identity and worldview had had on the conflict in Thailand’s southern border provinces. A final session considered some of the main policy and research conclusions that could be drawn from the discussion.

 

14. Islam in Southern Thailand:The Role of Islamic Education [Centre for the study of Contemporary Islam, The  University  of Melbourne]

 Southern Thailand is home to Thailand’s Muslim minority and tensions between this community and the government in Bangkok have attracted world attention in recent years. The Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam is currently hosting three visitors from this region who are taking part in a ‘Leadership Program for Young Muslims from Southern Thailand'. The program is funded by the Australia-Thailand Institute in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They will speak on topics including: ‘Running an Islamic Private School in Southern Thailand’; ‘Islamic Studies Higher Education Programs in Southern Thailand’; and ‘How the Thai Government deals with Islamic Education in Southern Thailand’.

   
 

15.Thailand’s Muslims the first to celebrate Eid  "
[By International Islamic News Agency(IINA)]
 

 After the Eid Prayers, the Muslims of Thailand went about celebrating the Eid festivities with their near ones and dear ones, including their non-Muslim neighbours.

According to the year 2000 official statistics, Thailand’s Muslim population is now 6,000,000, out of a total population of 60 million.  

 

16.  Religious diversity in a Buddhist Majority Country: The Case of Islam in Thailand
[By Imtiyaz Yusuf]

No country today is religiously monolithic, living a religiously diverse way of life is both an intra- and interreligious reality. In responding to this situation as it relates to both salvation and living our lifetime on earth religious societies normally adopt any of the following positions:

   
 

17. Facets of Shi’ite Isxlam in contemporary Southeast Asia:Thailand & Indonesia
[By Christoph Marcinkowski (Institute of Defence & Strategic Studies, Singapore)]

No country today is religiously monolithic, living a religiously diverse way of life is both an intra- and interreligious reality. In responding to this situation as it relates to both salvation and living our lifetime on earth religious societies normally adopt any of the following positions:  

 

18. Thailand: Southeast Asian studies
[A Review By Omar Farouk Bajunid]

The tendency to portray Thailand as being overwhelmingly Buddhist in character and composition has tended to overshadow the role of its non-Buddhist minorities. Historically, politically and culturally the Muslims have been an integral part of Thailand for centuries. Islam is not only the second largest religion in the kingdom but also enjoys royal and official patronage. But yet, a review of existing works would reveal serious gaps in the academic treatment of the subject.

   
19. Thailand: Southern, Imtiyaz Yusuf
[By Imtiyaz Yusuf (East-West Center,Washington,USA)]

 The tendency to portray Thailand as being overwhelmingly Buddhist in character and composition has tended to overshadow the role of its non-Buddhist minorities. Historically, politically and culturally the Muslims have been an integral part of Thailand for centuries. Islam is not only the second largest religion in the kingdom but also enjoys royal and official patronage. But yet, a review of existing works would reveal serious gaps in the academic treatment of the subject.

 

20.Thailand: Southern Univesity of Leeds
[By Duncan McCargo (Univesity of Leeds )]
 

In June 2006, I sat in a Yala village chatting to four very ordinary youths who had taken part in some extraordinary events. Early in the morning of 28 April 2004, these unassuming young men – in their late teens and early twenties – had been roused, made their morning prayers, and given some unusual-tasting tea to drink. Carrying kitchen knives they had borrowed from home the previous evening, they set out on motorcycles in small groups.

   

Sondhi Boonyaratglin
Sondhi Boonyaratglin (file photo)

21. Thailand's Army Chief Approves Talks with Muslim Insurgents in South  
[By Ron Corben(VOA NEWS)Bangkok,05 October 2006]

 my chief will work to open a dialogue with insurgent groups in Thailand's southern provinces. While welcoming the initiative, human rights groups say the army also must address grievances the area's Muslim population have because of discrimination and poverty. General Sondhi Boonyaratglin on Thursday said he has agreed to talk with Muslim insurgents in the south, but did not say when they would be held.

Victims being buried in Pattani, April 2004

More than 100 people died in one day of violence in April

22.  Thailand's restive south
[By BBC, Friday, 15 July, 2005]

Members of Thailand's minority Muslim community - based almost exclusively in the country's southern provinces - have been at loggerheads with Bangkok for decades. Thailand's Muslims often complain of discrimination and a lack of opportunities, a resentment which occasionally leads to clashes with the authorities.