The Predicament of Thailand’s Southern Muslims
By Carool Kersten, Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Published in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 21:4
Recent events in Southeast Asia have revived interest in the role
of political Islam in the region. This article examines the posi-
tion of Muslims in Thailand’s four southern border provinces. It
addresses the historical background of the area’s relationship
with forms of centralized government by Thai political centers,
the relevant elements of ethnicity and their significance for cul-
tural (religious) self-identification, and how this may be trans-
lated in the political use of Islam. In a wider context, the study
can be considered as illustrative of the problematic relationship
between centers and peripheries, particularly those on the fron-
tiers of culture zones.

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