Muslims account for a mere 4.6% of population, yet have been spreading fear among the indigenous Buddhists of the region, using violence and brutality. They have resorted to the random killing of Buddhists, including school teachers and Buddhist monks.
(Photos below are of Muslim beheadings, burnings, hackings, and dismemberings of innocent Thai citizens)
SINHALE Muslim separatists have increasingly and openly rallied against the central government of Thailand, accusing it of ethnic-religious bias, discrimination and corruption. A brutal attack on a Buddhist temple in the town of Pattani in 2005 is seen as an attempt by militants to deepen the religious divide between Muslims and Buddhists in Thailand’s deep South.
Although separatist violence has occurred for decades in the southern region, the campaign escalated in 2004. Over 4300 lives have been lost since the year 2004 owing to Islamic insurgency. Buddhist monks have been beheaded, children killed and civilians attacked. More than 500 people have been killed in 2004 in three southern Thai provinces. Massive killings occurred throughout the mid to late 2000s and as of 2010, nearly 4,000 people had been killed due to insurgent violence.
The death toll has increased to 2,579 by mid-September 2007 and surpassed 3000 in March 2008. By the end of 2010, insurgency-related violence had increased. In the first few weeks of January in 2011 nine Buddhists have been killed in Southern Thailand by Islamic terrorists. In a separate attack four members of Thai armed forces have been killed. Many Buddhists have left their traditional home in Southern Thailand in order to escape the ongoing Islamic insurgency.
This brand of Islamist extremism is not a new phenomenon. The basic sentiment of today’s Muslim extremists has flourished in the Islamic world for decades. In recent decades the newfound wealth of the oil-rich Middle Eastern Islamic countries and massive immigration of Muslims to the West, Islamic fundamentalism has been on the rise and the dormant spirit of Jihadism has been rekindled once again.
Overall, it is clear that elements within Southern Thailand desire a non-Buddhist land. The younger generation of Muslims are being brainwashed against Buddhists. This hatred and alienation of the younger generation began after many studied at international universities throughout the Middle East. Funding from the Middle East is being used to spread radical Sunni Islamic versions of Islam.
Although the hidden war in Southern Thailand by radical Sunni Islamists is being aimed at moderate Muslims and Buddhists alike, the Buddhists it is feared face complete annihilation and one day Southern Thailand may end up like Afghanistan, Central Asia, and other areas which once had thriving Buddhist communities.
History reveals vividly how Muslims invaded many former Buddhist countries and subjugated their people subjecting them to extreme forms of violence and untold misery unless people converted to Islam. There have been problems of a varied nature in all countries where Muslims form a minority. Indonesia and Malaysia were Buddhist countries at a certain time in history.