A group of Muslim men look through the padlocked gates of the Krue Se mosque, which is closed. (REUTERS)
PATTANI – Thousands of Muslims from across southern Thailand yesterday converged on the historic but now scorched and bullet-scarred Krue Se mosque outside Pattani town.
Some Thai Muslims think this was not the right time or place for jihad…
The mood at the mosque yesterday was sombre and silent even as some in the religious establishment backed the government.
‘How could we let our children be led astray?’ cleric Hayee Seng told journalists.
‘Islamic laws don’t allow this. How come the parents didn’t teach them better?’
At the central mosque in Pattani, Imam Yakob Raimani told the faithful at Friday prayers that they should cooperate with the government to bring things back to normal.
Mr Yusof Samae, head of the Central Masjid committee, said: ‘Islam does not support violence. What the young attackers did was wrong.
‘The situation here is not comparable to Iraq where there is a foreign invader. There is no foreign involvement here, this is a local issue.’
… but the government is in hot water with human rights groups.
Thailand has been accused of using excessive force to quell a rebellion by militant youths in the country’s predominantly Muslim south that ended with the killing of at least 108 rebels.
Human rights groups yesterday called for an independent inquiry into Wednesday’s bloodshed as religious leaders warned that the military’s handling of the uprising was likely to inflame separatist tensions in the region.
UPDATES: (Both via LGF)
That self-critical moment above didn’t last long:
Thai Muslims enraged and fearful as army hunts for more rebels
And from the government: Thai Leader Rejects Foreign Criticism