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South Thailand: Death To Infidels

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Breaking News. Image: GoodManPL (Pixabay).


September 21, 2010: In response to a recent surge of attacks against teachers in the Moslem south, the government has raised the pay of teachers down there and improved security as well. In the last six years, 137 school personnel, mostly teachers, have been killed down there, and several hundred injured. The Islamic radicals oppose secular education, and especially education for girls. Overall, about 4,200 have died in the violence. The Islamic separatists want to drive all infidels (non-Moslems) out of the two southernmost provinces. Violence is down, but there are still several attacks a week. Police have managed to get a sense of what they are up against. The core of the violence is a centuries old antipathy between Buddhist Thais and Moslem Malays. The two provinces in the south used to be an independent Moslem sultanate, until absorbed by Thailand a century ago. It was never a good fit. The Malays were not as ambitious, economically, as the Thais, and fell behind as the rest of the country industrialized and prospered. One thriving industry in the south was smuggling, especially drugs and guns. This provided a lucrative connection with Thai gangs to the north. Add to this the Islamic radicalism which has become so fashionable among young Moslems (especially those with little education and poor job prospects) in the last few decades, and you have yet another movement to expel non-Moslems from the south (who are resented for being better educated, more prosperous and, in general, different) and become an independent nation again. Thailand will never let that happen, and is determined to grind down the gangs and Islamic militants, which it has been doing for the past few years. In response, the attacks have increasingly been directed at local Moslems, who have been more frequently supporting government efforts to calm things down.

StrategyWorld


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