The Islamic jihadists claim after every atrocity that they are merely retaliating and exacting revenge for an earlier attack. But the same question must be asked here that must be asked of the “Palestinian” jihad against Israel: what would happen if the non-Muslim side stopped fighting? Non-Muslims would be conquered, there would be wholesale slaughter, and regions would be Islamized. What, on the other hand, would happen if the Muslim side stopped fighting? There would be peace.
As for this jihadist intention to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, it’s strictly Qur’anic: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides whom you may not know, but whom Allah does know. Whatever you spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid to you, and you shall not be treated unjustly.” (8:60)
The recent burning and beheading of female victims in Thailand’s southern Muslim provinces marks a renewed campaign of terror by insurgent groups, according to a Human Rights Watch statement released today.
At least three Thai Buddhist women have been killed and mutilated by insurgents since February, according to HRW.
“Southern insurgents are killing Buddhist women and spreading terror by beheading and burning their bodies,” Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW, said in the statement.
Such attacks are carried out for two reasons, said Sunai Phasuk, a senior researcher on Thailand at HRW.
Attacks involving mutilation are intended to send a message of “terror” to scare Thai Buddhists into leaving Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani provinces, or are carried out as “retaliation” for extrajudicial killings committed by Thai security forces, he said.
“Claims by separatist groups that they are retaliating against government abuses are no justification for attacks on civilians,” said Adams.
Anthony Davis, a Bangkok-based security analyst with IHS-Jane’s, said that “the primary catalyst [for these mutilation killings] appears to be the killing of the three children in Bacho,” referring to a February 3 attack allegedly committed by the army’s Taharn Pran paramilitary force that killed three ethnic Malay-Muslim brothers, ages 6 to 11, and wounded their parents in Narathiwat province’s Bacho district.
Less than 10 days later, on February 12, insurgents in Pattani province’s Yaring district shot dead Sayamol Sae Lim, 29, a female employee of Bangkok Bank, and burned her body. A message found at the scene which was addressed to army chief, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, said “Dear army chief, this is not the last body after the three brothers.”
On March 14, Siriporn Srichai, a 43-year-old teacher, was shot dead while on the way to work Pattani province’s Mayo district. The attackers doused her body with gasoline and set it on fire. A leaflet stating: “This attack is in revenge for the killing of innocent people,” was found nearby.
Then, on April 2, insurgents killed a village chief from Yala province’s Bannang Sata district and two female deputy chiefs. One of the deputies, Urai Thabtong, 47, was shot and then decapitated. A leaflet left at the scene stated, “This attack is a punishment for letting Aor Sor [the Interior Ministry’s village militia] commit killings and oppression of our Malay people. Free Patanni!”
Male victims have been decapitated numerous times in the past, but this marked the first case in the past 10 years when a female victim was beheaded, said Sunai.
These attacks were “calculated to shock, outrage and widen the communal divide,” said Davis. The insurgents are saying, “If you’re going outrage us, we’re going to outrage you.”
At least 5,488 people have been killed in the southern border provinces since the conflict intensified in January 2004….