Islam in Thailand

Islam religion is strongly installed in the Thailand’s southern provinces close to Malaysia. There are still problems with these provinces, which ask for greater autonomy. In 1990’s, there were bombing attacks against police or military spots. Only since 1998 it is more quiet. The attacks were not targeted against tourists. Thai Muslims feel that Thai-Chinese people control the economy and business, Thai people control administration. Then there is nothing left for them. Nowadays politics toward Southern provinces improves power sharing slowly. Since year 2004, bombing attacks against police, governmental or military spots has started again.

In Thailand’s southern provinces, there are more mosques than Buddhist temple. The temple called “WAT CHONTHARA SINGH-HE” near Narathiwat was built last century to show that these provinces belong to Thailand. English colonialists wanted to annex them. The four upper provinces of Malaysia belonged to Thailand but Rama V had to give them to English colonialists. Rama V has also given the Laos and a part of Cambodia to French colonialists to avoid war. Spoken language in southern provinces is different from Thai language, i.e. it is similar to Malaysian language.

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