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Buddhist Fury: Religion and Violence in Southern Thailand - Dhamma Wheel
A Buddhist discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravāda
I haven't read the book and probably won't....there are alot of people who don't know about the history of southern Thailand.....that region was "given" to Thailand by England about 100 years ago or so I think.....the people there have a muslim heritage and thier customs are markedly different from what is usually thought of as Thai culture....if you see the style of their songs or their dances on TV for instance it is obvious that it is not the same as the rest of Thailand....I have mentioned this to my wife (a Thai woman) by saying that "this is not Thai culture....maybe these people really should have thier own government since they are are diffent from most Thais".....she will agree that their culture is not actually Thai but has a hard time with the idea that the south should be perhaps autonomous because of the needs of a different culture.
So what you've got is a region with a long and well established cultural heritage which was conquered by England and then "given" to Thailand.....is it any wonder that there is a group of people there who want to be free of what they see as an occupying force....especially given that historically the south has not been treated equally with the rest of Thailand by the Thai gov't? I'm very sure that the "terrorists" in the south feel in their hearts that they are freedom fighters.....and they must have support from a some kind of reasonable percent of the population or they would not have been able to operate for so long........it's a sad situation which would probably be resolved if the Thai gov't just created an autonomous region there....maybe not though...I don't know.
Perhaps the history of that region is in the book...if so it is probably worth reading for that alone. chownah