A Fragile Society: Buddhist-Muslims Relations in Thailand in 2018-2019

  • Ekkarin Tuansiri Faculty of Political Science, Prince of Songkla University Pattani Campus, Pattani 94000, Thailand
  • Anwar Koma Department of International Relations, Institute of Social Science, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey
Keywords: Buddhist-Muslim relations, Fragility, Islamophobia in Thailand

Abstract

This research project examines an ontology of Buddhist-Muslim relations in Thai society between 2018- and 2019. A focus group and in-depth interview were used to collect data from 4 regions of the country during July-December 2018. It explains why such relations turned more fragile, which areas are the most dangerous, and how the conflict is relevant to different types of area. It demonstrates that the tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in the society are seen as a challenge of the 2010s, which needs to be monitored systematically. Such relations had been socially constructed through interactions between the compatriots of different religions and ethnicities, and can change with time and location, from cooperation to confrontation and violence. In this decade, such relations, however, have changed in a negative way. Examples are a change of direction from vertical violence to the horizontal conflict in the deep south, active protests of Buddhists against Muslims in the North and Northeast, and the increased visibility of Muslim identity in the upper South and Central regions. Such shift of conflict’s direction has brought a more social complexity and requires a public policy that can prevent violent extremism.

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Author Biographies

Ekkarin Tuansiri, Faculty of Political Science, Prince of Songkla University Pattani Campus, Pattani 94000, Thailand

อาจารย์ประจำ คณะรัฐศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยสงขลานครินทร์ วิทยาเขตปัตตานีศ

Anwar Koma, Department of International Relations, Institute of Social Science, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey

นักวิจัยปริญญาเอก สาขาความสัมพันธ์ระหว่างประเทศ, Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey

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Published
2020-06-17
How to Cite
Tuansiri, E., & Koma, A. (2020). A Fragile Society: Buddhist-Muslims Relations in Thailand in 2018-2019. Walailak Journal of Social Science, 13(1), 104-144. Retrieved from https://so06.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/wjss/article/view/214159
Section
Research Article