Thailand’s “predominantly Muslim south” is under attack, and “dozens of people have been rounded up for questioning, including two Islamic teachers and two members of a Muslim separatist group, since the violence erupted in three southern provinces five days ago.”
Nonetheless, “Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra insisted that Islamic militants are not responsible, contradicting top security aides.” This from Reuters, with thanks to Nicolei.
In apparent reference to the Muslim separatist movement, Thaksin said: “That ideology is over.”
Dhimmitude is the condition of non-Muslims under Islamic law. It mandates allmanner of discrimination in exchange for “protection.” But if the dhimmis get out of line, they forfeit protection, and one way they get out of line is to speak ill of their masters. Unfortunately, Thaksin seems to have caught the same affliction that many Western heads of state, as well as many liberal and conservative media outlets, already suffer from: they all seem to think that if one denies what is in front of his face, and never talks plainly about what Muslim radicals are doing and trying to do, then those same radicals will give them protection as their forefathers did to the dhimmis.
Maybe Thaksin is right. But his own officials don’t think so: “Senior government officials continued to suggest that the Buddhist majority nation is facing an Islamic militancy far bigger than previously believed. Interior Minister Wan Muhamad Noor Matha said the co-ordinated arson attacks on 21 schools on Sunday, which authorities said was a diversion to loot an army depot of more than 100 weapons after killing four soldiers, was the work of separatists. ‘We believe that all the attackers are involved with the Bersatu group, who earlier mobilised youths to cause unrest,’ he told reporters.
“Police say Bersatu is an umbrella name for a number of separatist groups, including the Gerakan Mujahideen Islam Pattani, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional and Pattani United Liberation Organisation.”
“‘We will bring in more people for questioning. The Bersatu group has an ideology to mobilise and expand their co-operation with terrorist groups,’ Wan Muhamad Noor said. Local support for Muslim separatists dried up in the 1990s as the government ploughed money into the region where most of Thailand’s six million Muslims live and offered amnesty to the fighters.
“On Thursday, Gen Kitti Rattanachaya, a former army commander in the south and now a government security adviser, said links between militants in the region went back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when many foreign Muslims joined the mujahideen (holy warriors).
“There has been speculation since the August capture in Thailand of Hambali, the Indonesian-born suspected JI operations chief thought to have masterminded the Bali bombings in 2002, that the country was being used as a haven to plan attacks.”