It’s All About Israel Update. By Kim Barker in the Chicago Tribune, with thanks to Twostellas:
OUTSIDE NARATHIWAT, Thailand – Once they were friends, the chiefs of neighboring Buddhist and Muslim villages, separated by less than a mile of rice paddies and rubber-tree plantations.
Violence drove them apart. And when Muhammad Dunai Tanyeeno, the chief of the Muslim village of Jaroh, was gunned down Oct. 20, the chief of the Buddhist village of Saikaew was not even sad. None of the Buddhists of Saikaew went to Dunai’s funeral.
“He was a good friend,” said Yoon Yencheun, 51, the chief of Saikaew, who carries two guns with him whenever he leaves his village. “But when any Muslim dies, I’m happy. So many Buddhists have been killed by the Muslims.”
Oh, will the Islamophobia never end? It is chilling to hear any human being rejoice in the death of another. It is all the more chilling when one reflects that over the months we have published here at Jihad Watch story after story of Muslims killing Buddhists: monks, old men, schoolteachers. In light of all that, Yoon Yencheun’s boiling anger is understandable. And this is what never enters into discussions of the trumped-up notion of “Islamophobia”: the fact that jihadists are Islam’s worst public relations agents. Efforts by Muslim spokesmen to blame the “Islamophobia” that results from Muslim violence (which the perpetrators justify by reference to the Qur’an and Muhammad) on “bigotry” or “hatred” on the part of non-Muslims only increases the sense that many people have that those Muslim spokesmen are being disingenuous, and not only not confronting but trying to deflect attention away from the real roots of the problem within their own theological traditions.
The history of violence in Thailand’s Muslim-majority South, where a low-level Islamic insurgency has claimed nearly 1,700 lives since 2004, can be traced through these two villages, just southeast of the provincial capital of Narathiwat. In these villages, it’s clear just how murky this insurgency is. It’s also clear that violence is growing worse since the Sept. 19 coup, despite the new prime minister’s apology to Muslims for past harsh treatment.
Most government schools were shut down recently in the three southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani, a reaction to an insurgent campaign of school burnings and attacks on teachers. A mysterious group recently put up fliers announcing an Islamic state and warning Muslims not to work, open their shops or go to the bank or hospital for 10 days. “Otherwise we can’t guarantee your safety,” the fliers said.
People listened. Shops were closed. People stayed away from restaurants, from karaoke bars. The local hospital in Rangae district had one-third fewer patients than usual. The streets at 7 p.m. in Narathiwat felt as empty as they do at 1 a.m.
You want to go out past 7 and not feel as if you’re taking your life into your hands? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?