Finally! Thailand Takes Battle To Islamic Schools.

File this one under, “It’s about time!”
There have only been 2,500 lives lost to violent muslims, in the deep south of Thailand, and now, the Thai military has developed a working hypothesis.

After almost four years of battling a deadly separatist struggle against a seemingly nameless foe in Thailand’s deep South, the Thai military have learned a thing or two.

Firstly, they are now convinced that the main organizer behind the violence, which has claimed more than 2,500 lives since early 2004, is the BRN-Coordinate, the political arm of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional or National Revolutionary Front.

Secondly, Thai military intelligence is convinced that the BRN-Coordinate has used the deep South’s Islamic schools (pondoks) and religious teachers (ustas) to recruit and instruct a new generation of Muslim youths dedicated to the Pattani separatist cause and a more militant form of Islam.

Most southern specialists agree that there is an element of truth to the hypothesis.

There have been many arrests in the deep South and many of the suspected insurgents have fingered their ustas as ringleaders.

“The evidence is mounting against the pondoks and some of the radical teachers, forcing many of them to run away,” said Panitan Wattanayagorn, a political science professor at Chulalongkorn University and a leading expert on the southern conflict.

That’s all well and good, to have put much thought into the problem, and how to address it, but…four years? Twenty-five hundred murders?
I don’t know if my outrage should be placed more on the islamic butchers, that carry out these crimes, or the government for taking so long to isolate the problem, and take action.
I think I will fume at both of them.

Full story can be found here.


Sercan Ondem

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