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Why We are Upset (A View From South Thailand)

Why We Are Upset (A View from South Thailand)

By Jamal Abimar

NARATHIWAT, March 23--(Al-Masakin) With all that is going on in the world these days in relation to terrorism and its suppression, and recent events in Saudi Arabia, Iraq,
and Afghanistan, smaller conflicts and cases of oppression and repression are overlooked or not reported in great detail.

And too many times, they are looked at as being just another case of dissatisfied or fanatical Muslims with interests in causing greater problems for governing authorities.
:::Why We are Upset  (A View From South Thailand):::Full Article in PDF:::
:::Why We are Upset (A View From South Thailand):::Full Article in PDF:::
About ten years ago, as Thailand was at the peak of its economic development, new aspects and representations of this economic prosperity started to make inroads to all parts of Thailand.

In parts of Thailand where the people are predominately of Thai origin and the Buddhist philosophy and religion, these inroads were greeted with happiness, a sense of pride and ego and a desire for more.

Little things started to happen in South Thailand that we as Muslims found offensive.

More alcohol was brought into and sold in the region.

We do not accept this and find it offensive and disrespectful to our religion and way of life.

More magazines depicting women in sexually demeaning poses and actions were brought into our region.

We do not accept this and find it offensive and disrespectful to our religion and way of life.

Larger fishing vessels, owned by Chinese and Thai businessmen, started making journeys to our offshore fishing areas, thereby hurting our ability to make a living from our major source of income.

We consider the Thai culture and society to be one marked by exploitation, greed, lust and a lack of mindfulness and respect for people of other ethnic backgrounds and religions.

It is not only us Muslims in Southern Thailand.

We, who are familiar with history and the actions of the Thai people and government know that this same tendency to exploitation and greed has manifested itself to the Buddhist populations of Burma, Cambodia and Laos.

We are aware of the large amount of women from the poorer areas of Thailand and ethnic minorities of the North that have been led, tricked and forced into serving as prostitutes for the greedy and exploitive Thai men in Bangkok and throughout the country.

We are mindful about the actions of various Thai government officials, political leaders, military and police officers and business men, who in their lust for money and face, have lied to and exploited people from their own country, both Thai and Muslim, and lied to other countries and peoples in an effort to, once again, make money and create or save face.

Recent examples of this are how the Thai government tried to hide and downplay the bird flu epidemic in the country over the last year, and in previous years, had the same approach to SARS and AIDS.

We do understand the teachings of the Buddha and the wisdom in Buddhism, but we have not seen any understanding and practice of these teachings among the Thai people.

We also understand that there are corrupt and exploitive officials who call themselves Muslims in our part of Thailand.

But we want a greater degree of self - determination about how we live and what our children will be exposed to.

We want these aspects of Thai culture, such as the use and consumption of alcohol, pornography and an indulgence in prostitution removed from our areas of life and living.

We want to see a government and country that does not talk about helping all, but in reality exploits and lies to its people.

We know that the ego, greed and lusts of those in power will not change.

We will have to continue along those roads that give us the freedom and self - determination that we want.

The Thai government, people and culture will not give them to us and we will not continue to bow down to their disrespect for and oppression of us, our religion, our way of life and our people.

(Jamal Abimar lives in Narathiwat, Southern Thailand)
you are the problem 24.Mar.2005 17:40


Folks that have the outlook of "we find it offensive" generally make great nazis no matter what the religion or culture!

When you let go of the "we" and realize there is only "I" that you should be concerned with your life will be happier.

Koran say: 25.Mar.2005 08:40


Surat Al-'Imran, 3:120

"If anything that is good befalls you, it grieves them: but if some misfortune overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you; for Allah compasses round about all that they do."

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, trans.