Thailand: Where Islamic Terrorism Goes To Die

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July 24, 2012: In the south the government has halted the growth of Islamic terrorism violence over the last few years but it still having a hard time dealing with the culture of corruption and violence down there, which has left the Moslem minority behind the rest of Thailand economically. Foreigners and Thais find it much easier, and more profitable, to invest anywhere but the Moslem south. The government keeps adding more incentives to change this but is not having a lot of success. Most Thais balk at spending what it will take to make the Moslem south an attractive place for economic investment. Meanwhile, the heavy police presence around schools is making it easier for more Moslem kids to get an education, which leads more of them to leave the south and look for better jobs in the Buddhist north.

Thailand is one of many countries in the area where Islamic radicalism gained a foothold before, and especially after September 11, 2001, but was never able to grow much. The local Moslems were not enthusiastic about establishing religious dictatorships and soon became hostile to growing Islamic terrorist violence. The loss of local support put the Islamic radicals at a big disadvantage, one they have not been able to overcome.

Nearly a decade of Islamic terrorism in the south has not hurt the Thai economy, which continues to grow. This includes the large tourist resorts in the south. The Islamic terrorists have, for the most part, been kept out of the tourist areas, which provide badly needed jobs for many Moslems.

July 20, 2012: The violence in the south showed a slight increase because of Ramadan (the annual Moslem month of prayer and fasting). There were several bombings and shootings today, the start of Ramadan, which left three people dead.

July 18, 2012: Cambodia and Thailand agreed to carry out a peace deal and both sides are moving their troops away from a disputed border area. Many troops have already been withdrawn. There was some fighting last year, which led to peace negotiations. This time around Cambodia is pulling its last 500 soldiers out and Thailand is withdrawing about 400.

 

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