From Syria to Palestine and other, the Muslim world is in a crisis, with many countries in a “Total Failed State” condition, struggling to survive. But is this a new story? Here in South East Asia, once, there was a Muslim country, called Patani. For Patani, The 20th century was about “Forced assimilation” & The 21st century is about “Traditional culture under threat.”
1) At Kingdom of Thailand, current geography, the end tip, there are 3 Provinces, mostly, once a part of a Muslim nation, of Patani
2) Then as part of expansionism of a Thai King, conquered with war that independent Muslim nation & annexed country, to be part of Kingdom
3) That, expansionism war & conquer, only a little more than a 100 years ago & since, Muslim there, been mostly marginalized & oppressed
4) There, Kingdom of Thailand security force, built machines, from oil drums & used to put Muslims, into these machines, burn them alive
5) Of course, there, since Kingdom of Thailand, conquer & annexed, the independent Muslim country, resistance
6) Through the years, many groups/movements of resistance, emerged, at that, once Pattani country, from militant to terror based
7) Today, most activity, terror based & in past, about 10 years, about 5,000, mostly innocent Buddhist & Muslim, been killed, in struggle
8) Currently, much of Buddhist, where Kingdom of Thailand about 80% Buddhist, that settled there, since annexed, had left
9) With resistance turned more to terror, opportunity, Kingdom of Thailand, to win hearts, mind & spirit of Muslin there & billions promise
10) US$ billions promised to develop the region’s economy & to stop marginalizing the Muslim there, but little actual money went &
11) & promised liberalization of Muslim relation policies, little progress, in always, mostly Neo Fascist Kingdom of Thailand, to all
12) So in sum, region poor & Muslim still disfranchised, & resistance terror & Kingdom’s security, at perpetual war, people suffer
13) Few years back, monument went up, re-construction, of the machine from oil drums, which used to burn/kill Muslims alive, in remembrance
The following is from the Wikipedia:
Patani (in Malay, or Pattani, (derived from Jawi: ڤتنا), also sometimes Patani Raya, or “Greater Patani”) is a historical region located in the northern part of the Malay peninsula. It comprises the southern Thai provinces of Pattani,Yala (Jala), Narathiwat (Menara), and parts of Songkhla (Singgora),together with Kelantan in the northern part of modern peninsular Malaysia.
The Patani region has historical affinities with the Singgora (Songkhla), Ligor (Nakhon Si Thammarat), and Lingga (near Surat Thani) sultanates dating back to the time when the Patani Kingdom was a semi-independent Malay sultanate paying tribute to the Siamese kingdoms of Sukhothai andAyutthaya. After Ayutthaya fell to the Burmese in 1767, the Sultanate of Patani gained full independence, but under King Rama I, it again came under Siam’s control.
In recent years a secessionist movement has sought the establishment of aMalay Islamic state, Patani Darussalam, encompassing the three southern Thai provinces. This campaign has taken a particularly violent turn after 2001, resulting in an intractable insurgency problem across southern Thailand and the imposition of martial law.
Cultural background: Patani traditions
The Hikayat Patani chronicle of the Patani Kingdom.
The Patani people speak a form of the Malay language locally known as ‘Jawi’. Patani had a complex and distinct culture that included a rich oral literature, riceharvest ceremonies, colourful paintings on the hulls of Korlae boats and the performances of a kind of Wayang theatre. Living in a borderland at the northern end of the Malay peninsula, along the centuries the Patani people had adapted themselves to a life of harmony with the local Chinese, Buddhist and Orang Aslicommunities.
Despite the ethnic affinity of the Patani with their Malay neighbours to the south, The Patani Kingdom was led by Sultans who historically preferred to pay tribute to the distant Siamese kings in Bangkok. For many centuries the King of Siam restricted himself to exacting a periodic tribute in the form of Bunga mas, ritual trees with gold leaves and flowers that were a symbolic acknowledgment of Siamese suzerainty, leaving the Patani rulers largely alone.
The 20th century: Forced assimilation
Until well into the 20th century, the government in Bangkok had relied on local officials in the implementation of policies within the Patani region, including the exemption in implementing Thai Civil Law, which had allowed Muslims to continue their observance of local laws based on Islam regarding issues on inheritance and family. However, by 1934 Marshall Plaek Phibunsongkhram set in motion of a process of Thaification which had as its objective the cultural assimilation of the Patani people, among other ethnic groups in Thailand.
The National Culture Act was enforced as a result of the Thaification process, promoting the concept of ‘Thai-ness’ and itscentralist aims. Its ‘Mandate 3’ was directly aimed at the Patani people. By 1944, Thai civil law was enforced throughout the land including the Patani region overriding the earlier concessions to local Islamic administrative practices. The school curriculum was revised to that of a Thai-centric one with all lessons in the Thai language. Traditional Muslim courts that were used to handle civil cases were removed and replaced with civil courts run and approved by the central government in Bangkok. This forced assimilation process and the perceived imposition of Thai-Buddhist cultural practices upon their society became an irritant for the harmonious relationship of the ethnic Malay Patani people and the Thai state.
Denied recognition as a culturally separate ethnic minority, Patani leaders reacted against the Thai government policy towards them and a nationalist movement began to grow, leading to the South Thailand insurgency. Initially the goal of the nationalist movement such as PULO was secession, pursuing an armed struggle towards an independent state where Patani people could live with dignity without having alien cultural values imposed on them.
The 21st century: Traditional culture under threat
After 2001, however, the Patani insurgency was taken over by groups whose leaders are mainly Salafist religious teachers that have exacerbated religion, rejecting the nation-building ideology of the early secessionist movements. Current insurgent groups proclaim militant jihadism and are not separatist anymore. They have extreme and transnational religious goals, such as an Islamic Caliphate, to the detriment of a constructive cultural or nationalistic Patani identity. Salafi-based groups are hostile to the heritage and practices of traditional Malay Muslims, accusing them of being un-Islamic. They are not concerned about Patani cultural values, instead their immediate aim is to make the Patani region ungovernable.
So far, and in the present circumstances, to preserve an identity free of the influence of Militant Islam has been next to impossible for the people of the hapless Patani