Religious radicalism in Southeast Asia. Can the IG extend its influence to the Malay Archipelago and Indochina?

One of the most alarming trends in the light of recent events in the Middle East is the likelihood of the spread of the activities of the "Islamic State" and a number of similar organizations to those regions of the Muslim world that were not previously covered by the active activities of the radicals. It is also about the countries of Southeast Asia, where there is a huge Muslim population.

Indonesia: fundamentalism is gaining momentum


Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world with 253 609 643 people living here. In terms of population, Indonesia ranks fourth in the world after China, India and the United States. As for the religious composition of the population, 88% of Indonesians are Muslim. Almost all the inhabitants of Java, Madura, Sumatra are Sunni Muslims. Overpopulation, economic problems, complex inter-ethnic relations — all these factors inherent in Indonesian society can also be considered as potential causes of the spread and intensification of religious fundamentalism in this country, including in the most radical forms.

It is noteworthy that until a certain time the people of Indonesia professed Hinduism and Buddhism. On the island of Java is the famous temple complex Borobudur, dating back to the beginning of the 9th century. AD In VII - XIII centuries. in the Malay Archipelago there existed the Buddhist empire of Srivijaya, considered one of the most powerful and developed states in this region of the planet. Buddhism coexisted in Indonesia with Hinduism - Saivism, as well as with local traditional beliefs. Empire Shrivijaya led trade with India and Arab countries. Gradually, with merchants and seafarers from the countries of the Arab East and India, Islam penetrated the Malay Archipelago. The first Islam adopted was the Aceh region in the north-west of Sumatra, where the eponymous sultanate arose. Islamized population of Malaya, Java, Sumatra. Only the island of Bali, up to the present, has preserved the ancient religion - a mixture of Buddhism with Hinduism and local beliefs. In the eastern regions of Indonesia, which were colonized by Europeans, Christianity spread — Catholicism on Timor, captured by the Portuguese, and Protestantism on Ambon and in Papua. Began to spread to the XIII century., By the XV century. Islam held leading positions in Indonesia. To some extent, it was Islam that contributed to the preservation of the Indonesian national identity during the Dutch colonization. At present, Indonesian Islam remains significantly more liberal than in the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf or Pakistan. The exceptions are the western regions of the country, especially the north-west of Sumatra. Aceh province has long been considered the citadel of the most conservative Indonesian Islam, since its population in the Middle Ages established strong contacts with the Arab world, a significant number of Arab merchants and preachers settled here, whose descendants now form the backbone of the clergy and cultural authorities of Aceh. Naturally, the Muslim population of Indonesia, so numerous and young in age, cannot but attract the attention of ideologues and propagandists of international radical organizations. In turn, the threat of spreading radical ideas among Indonesian Muslims worries both Western countries and the Indonesian government. The leadership of Indonesia has repeatedly made statements condemning international terrorism and religious extremism.

The authorities are well aware that in difficult socio-economic conditions radical ideas can be very attractive for rural youth and urban paupers, and there is nothing to oppose radical Islam to the preachers - the Indonesian state has no alternative ideology that can compete with radical Islam. Therefore, Indonesia, like the ASEAN countries, condemns the activities of the “Islamic State” (a banned organization in the Russian Federation) and threatens to deny citizenship of those Indonesians who will fight on the side of the IG in Syria and Iraq (there are, according to some, already around 500 person). The Indonesian government has every reason to fear the spread of radical ideas among Muslim youth. Indeed, radical groups operate in Indonesia who sympathize with the IS and even are ready to assist this organization. The leadership and propagandists of such organizations are young men of years 25-30, mostly from well-to-do families, who have a religious or secular higher education and are ideological supporters of the creation of a Muslim state - a caliphate, which should include Indonesia. As for the ordinary militants, their recruitment is carried out in the following main ways. First, militants are recruited by radical preachers in mosques, paying special attention to unemployed and socially deprived young people. Secondly, militant recruiters are active among Indonesian students who receive education abroad - primarily in Turkey, from where it is easiest to get to Syria and Iraq. It is known that a significant number of Indonesian students are studying in Turkey who are influenced by more active local fundamentalists. Finally, these are active activists of radical fundamentalist organizations in Indonesia itself, who have long-standing ties with the Arab world. The propaganda activity of the IS recruiters is aimed at this target audience. Among active activists of radical organizations there are people with combat experience, including those who fought in the 1990s. in Afghanistan, on the side of the Taliban. The most widespread radical fundamentalist views are in Sumatra and Java, where Islam has spread earlier than in other regions of Indonesia, and has a very large influence on the socio-political processes in society.

The main radical organizations of Indonesia

One of the most active radical fundamentalist organizations in the country is the Indonesian Hizb ut-Tahrir Liberation Party (HTI). Despite the scarcity of its members and supporters, it is very active among university students in the country. The party favors the creation of a caliphate, regarding the main causes of all the problems of modern Muslim countries as the fall and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the sultan of which was considered the lord of all Sunni Muslims. The Indonesian government is more or less loyal to the activities of KhTI, allowing mass events of this organization, but preventing the penetration of foreign preachers and propagandists connected with Hizb ut-Tahrir foreign structures into the country. By the way, representatives of moderate Muslim circles in the country have criticized the position of HTI, primarily because of the contradiction to the nature of Indonesian statehood, as well as the views of other people on the possibility of creating a caliphate.

Religious radicalism in Southeast Asia. Can the IG extend its influence to the Malay Archipelago and Indochina?
- protests against the Miss World contest in Indonesia

Another radical organization, Jemaah Islamia (Islamic Society), has its headquarters in Indonesia, and its branches operate in neighboring Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Jemaah Islamia appeared on the base of Imam Abdullah Sungkar and Imam Abu Bakar Bashir of the Darul Islam movement recreated in 969. Initially, the imams engaged in the preaching of Islam on the radio and ensuring the activities of the boarding school. By the way, the motto of the school was the words "Death on the path of Allah is our highest aspiration." Gradually, the activists of the movement turned to radical protests against the Christian population and non-believers. Several arsons of churches and nightclubs and cinemas were committed, and in 1984 there were major clashes between activists and the police. After them, Abu Bakar Bashir and Abdullah Sungkar left Indonesia and moved to neighboring Malaysia, where they began to create an armed organization to overthrow the Indonesian regime of General Suharto. A number of future militants "Jemaa Islamia" participated in the fighting in Afghanistan against the Soviet troops. Volunteers from Indonesia and Malaysia were recruited into Afghanistan with the mediation of the World League of Islam. It is known that the militants "Jemaah Islamia" participated in the organization of explosions on the island of Bali in 2002 and 2005, near the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004, organized the financing of radical groups of South-East Asia. The strategic goal of Jemaya Islam is the creation of the Islamic State of Nusantara in the Malay Archipelago, the Muslim regions of the Philippines, Thailand and Burma. However, compared with the number of members of moderate Muslim parties, Jemaah Islamia and Hizb ut-Tahrir in Indonesia are still few in number. This is due, among other things, to the fact that radical Islam in Indonesia has not yet received mass distribution. This is due to the peculiarities of the historical and contemporary political development of the Indonesian state. First, Islam in Indonesia, with the exception of a number of regions in Java and Sumatra, was always more “soft” than in the Middle East, and Muslims were more liberal — imposing Islam on pre-Islamic Hindu, Buddhist and traditional beliefs, and neighborhood and constant interaction with non-Muslim peoples of the region, and the specificity of the local culture. Secondly, the mass Muslim organizations in Indonesia are characterized by political loyalty to the political system in force in the country and do not intend to go against the dominant concept of “Pancha force” - five principles put forward by Sukarno and consisting of (1) belief in one God, 2) Justice and Humanism, 3) Country Unity, 4) Democracy, Consultation and Representation Policy, 5) Ensuring Social Justice for All Indonesian People. Indonesian mass Muslim organizations condemned the actions of radical militants in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Interfaith tensions contribute to the growth of radicalism.

Of course, in Indonesia there are many problems in the sphere of interfaith relations. First of all, it is the opposition of radical Muslims and the government in Aceh province - the most Islamized region of Indonesia, which converted to Islam earlier than all other regions as a result of regular contacts with Arab, Persian and Indo-Muslim traders and seafarers. However, in Aceh, radical Islam is, first of all, an ideological feed of the local separatist movement, which advocates the restoration of the centuries-old traditions of Aceh statehood. The first armed demonstrations of the Aceh separatists occurred at the beginning of the 1950s. - It was the uprising of Darul Islam in 1953-1963, caused by non-compliance by the Indonesian authorities of sharia law in the province of Aceh. In 1976, the Free Aceh movement was created, advocating the restoration of Aceh statehood in the form of a sultanate. During the 1980-x - 1990-x. Free Aceh militants waged an armed guerrilla war against the Indonesian government. Movement activists trained in the Philippines — in the camps of the southern Philippine separatist Moro Muslims, as well as in Libya (both the Moro of the Philippines and Ache Indonesia enjoyed the support of Muammar Gaddafi). It was only in 2005 that the Indonesian government and the separatist leaders Aceh concluded a long-awaited peace treaty. In accordance with its terms, Sharia law was introduced in Aceh, and local authorities gained control over 70% of the region’s natural resources. In 2008, Hassan Tiro returned to Indonesia - the legendary leader of the Free Aceh movement, who spent thirty years in exile and is considered the most authoritative representative of Aceh nationalism. The introduction of Sharia law in Aceh brought this region of Indonesia closer in lifestyle to the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf. Thus, corporal punishment is widely practiced in Aceh, including public flogging, even for the fact that a woman is in company with an outsider. In September 2009 was approved by the Legislative Assembly of Aceh by stoning to death for adultery, a hundred strokes with sticks for extramarital sex, punishments for eating during fasting or not doing Friday prayers. On the part of liberal-minded politicians, the introduction of such measures, on the contrary, causes rejection and protests because they fear that Aceh’s excessive religiosity may alienate foreign investors and damage the social and economic development of Aceh province and of Indonesia as a whole. Moreover, the international media are very fond of broadcasting and disseminating reports on the facts of the application of Sharia law in Aceh.

- Fighters of the Free Aceh Movement

The second serious problem is interfaith clashes that regularly occur in Indonesia in the form of pogroms and mass clashes of orthodox Muslims with representatives of other faiths or even “heretical” movements in Islam. Despite the fact that Muslims, according to official statistics, are 88% of the population of Indonesia, only about 30-40% of them really follow the principles of Islam in their daily lives. The rest in one degree or another adhere to traditional beliefs, while officially considering themselves Muslims. The main areas of conflict between Muslims and Gentiles are either Java and Sumatra, where positions of orthodox Islam are strong and the largest number of fanatical believers live, or the eastern islands of Indonesia, where Muslims are recent settlers and come into conflict with the local Christian or pagan population. The most violent and frequent clashes between Muslims and Christians occur on the island of Ambon. Among the indigenous population of the island there are a lot of Christians who make up at least half of the Ambonians - representatives of the island’s titular people. Ambonts is a typical "colonial ethnos", which arose as a result of the mixture of Hituanians - the indigenous people of Ambon - with people from other regions of Indonesia and Europeans - the Dutch and the Portuguese. Since a significant part of Ambonians adopted Reformed Christianity, representatives of this people were willingly accepted to the colonial service, both in administrative institutions and in the part of the colonial troops of the Netherlands East Indies. Ambonians were staffed by many units of the colonial infantry, which participated in the suppression of popular uprisings in the territory of Indonesia. Rich Ambonians have become a privileged part of the island’s population. Naturally, after the independence of Indonesia, many Ambonians, especially those who served in the colonial troops and the police, chose to emigrate from the country. However, a significant number of Ambon Christians remained on the island, including the city of Ambon, where a large number of armed clashes between Christians and Muslims take place. В 1998-1999 гг. The situation on Ambon was strained to the limit and turned into a civil war between the Christian and Muslim populations. Civilians were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge on other islands. With great difficulty, the government forces managed to suppress riots and neutralize the armed detachments of the opposing sides. After that, the city of Ambon was officially demarcated into Muslim and Christian parts, but nowadays, conflicts between representatives of two faiths flare up periodically. Naturally, in a potentially conflicting environment, radical ideas and attitudes are spreading much faster, allowing radical fundamentalist organizations to recruit supporters from among the participants of mass clashes and individuals dissatisfied with the more favorable financial position of the Christian part of the island’s population. In addition to Ambon, serious clashes on interfaith soil also occur in Irian Jaya - the western part of Indonesia, New Guinea, belonging to Indonesia, where a large number of settlers from the western Muslim regions of Indonesia live, which is not popular with the local people - the Christianized representatives of the Papuan peoples.

Another line of conflict is between Orthodox Muslims, Sunnis, and representatives of Islamic sects that do not fit into traditional Islam. We are talking, in particular, about the communities of "Ahmadiya", the number of followers of which in Indonesia reaches half a million people. The teaching of Ahmadiya appeared in the 19th century as a result of the theological and preaching activity of Mirza Gulam Ahmad (1835-1908), an Islamic religious teacher from North India, who came from the Mogul family. According to the sect, the second coming of Jesus took place in the person of Mirza Gulam Ahmad. Despite the fact that, in general, the teachings of Ahmadia are not different from the basic tenets of Islam, this clause forces many Islamic theologians to regard the Ahmadiya communities as heretics. Ahmadiya refuses the armed forms of the spread of Islam, advocates reconciliation with science and ensuring freedom of conscience in Muslim countries. The activity of Ahmadia is strongly criticized by Sunni fundamentalists, who sometimes switch to methods of violence. In 2008, the mosque of the Ahmadiyah community was burned; in 2011, several followers of the community were beaten to death by a mob of radicals. Increasingly, fundamentalists are demanding a total ban on the activities of Ahmadiyah communities in Indonesia. There are clashes between moderate and radical Muslims. So, 1 June 2008 was held in Jakarta, a rally for religious tolerance, the participants of which were attacked by the fighters of the Front for the Defenders of Islam. As a result of the collision, 12 people were injured. The next day, militants of the Front for the Defense of Islam attacked members of Indonesia’s largest moderate Muslim organization Nahdatul Ulam in Yogyakarta, after which, in turn, its supporters launched a series of attacks on branches of the Front for the Defense of Islam in various cities of Indonesia. Finally, serious controversies are observed in Bali, where the local population professing the Balinese religion Agama Tirtha - a mixture of Hinduism, Buddhism and traditional shamanism of the Malay Archipelago, opposes Javanese settlers - Muslims gradually penetrating the island. So, the Balinese opposed the construction of a bridge from Java to Bali, because they fear that after this the influx of Javanese settlers will increase on the island - Java is overpopulated and many Javanese peasants do not have enough land, which forces them to migrate to other, less populated, islands of Indonesia. In 2002 and 2005 in Bali, explosions thundered by representatives of radical fundamentalist organizations.


The revitalization of fundamentalists in the Middle East was not initially viewed by the Indonesian leadership as a threat to the political stability of Indonesia. However, when meetings in support of the IG began to be held in Jakarta, the authorities began to get worried. Indonesian President Yudoiono imposed a ban on IS activity in Indonesia, after which arrests began of radical Islamists suspected of having links with the Islamic State. At the same time, unlike other countries of Southeast Asia, radicals in Indonesia feel much more relaxed. This is also due to the fact that certain gaps exist in the sphere of legal regulation of the issues of combating religious extremism and terrorism. In order to more effectively counter the terrorist threat, the Indonesian authorities are considering depriving militants fighting in Syria, Iraq and other countries, working on tightening the regime in Indonesian prisons, increasing control by secret services over the activities of preachers in mosques and Islamic schools in Indonesian cities, and mass media censoring. information and social networks, tightening the visa regime with countries from which recruiters of international terrorist organizations can arrive.

- rally of radical fundamentalists in Malaysia

Malaysia: for religion, but against extremism

Malaysia is the "neighbor" of Indonesia. But the fight against religious extremism and terrorism in this country is conducted on a more serious level. This is due, primarily, to the specifics of the national and religious composition of the population. Malaysia is an interesting political entity in terms of political structure. It is a federation formed by thirteen autonomous states and three federal territories. Nine states are monarchies, seven of which are ruled by the sultans, one (Perlis) is ruled by the rajah and one (Negri-Sembilan) is the ruler, who has the traditional title "Young Dipertuan Besar". Every five years, the monarchs of nine states choose from among their ranks the supreme ruler - the king of Malaysia (he bears the title “Young di Pertuan Agong”). All the rulers and political elite of the country are Sunni Muslims. However, Muslims make up only 61% of the population of Malaysia. For a long time, large communities of Chinese and Indians have lived in Malaysia, most of whom are not Muslims. The Chinese profess Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, Christianity, Indians - Hinduism. The Chinese and Indian diasporas play a crucial role in the country's economy. If the Malays during the colonial era were primarily peasants, the Chinese and Indians constituted the bulk of businessmen, merchants, industrial workers, clerical workers, employees of government bodies. It can be said that the modern Malaysian economy is built by the Chinese and the Indians, that is, non-Muslims, so the Malaysian authorities cannot allow the spread of radical views in the country, although perhaps the Malay elite would welcome the construction of a state like Iran or Pakistan. By the way, it was the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan that became key factors in the spread of fundamentalist ideas in Malaysia. The Panmalazi Islamic Party strengthened its position in the northern states - Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Trengganu, where the majority of the population were rural residents - Malays, who profess Islam and are distinguished by conservative views. In 1981 was Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who advocated Islamization of the country “from above”, became moderate in a way that seemed necessary to prevent more radical Islamists from coming to power. The Malaysian government built new mosques, supported the activities of Islamic schools and cultural centers, appointed fundamentalists to important positions in the government and the state apparatus. Malaysia began to provide substantial assistance to organizations fighting for the liberation of Palestine, the Afghan mujahideen, criticized the policies of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Israel in Palestine. As a result, “on the ground”, some conservative-minded figures went even further than the federal government and tried to establish Sharia law and the compulsory study of Islam, even for non-Muslim people. In the state of Kelantan in 1993 an attempt was made to introduce such punishments as cutting off the hand for stealing and stoning women for adultery. However, the central government stopped such steps of the provinces, because it was still aware of a certain line, beyond which it was dangerous to go in just for the government itself and maintain its control over the situation in the country. The Malaysian government was particularly agitated by the wave of overthrow of the ruling regimes that swept through 2011. in the Arab world and called the "Arab Spring". At the same time, it is unlikely that the political situation in Malaysia can follow the scenario of Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen or Iraq. First of all, it should be remembered that Malaysia is a multinational state, and also has a much higher level of economic development and, consequently, tangible social prospects for Malaysian youth living in better conditions than their North African and Middle Eastern peers.

Malaysian authorities are well aware that the activation of radical fundamentalists will lead to a destabilization of the situation in the country, given the large number and social activity of the non-Muslim population. Therefore, in Malaysia, much attention is paid to regulatory support, financing and information support for counter-terrorism activities. However, serious measures taken by the leadership of Malaysia do not guarantee complete deliverance from extremist organizations. Radical fundamentalist organizations operate in the country, including those associated with international terrorist organizations and recruiting militants from Malaysia to take part in hostilities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Libya. In September, 2015, a young man who arrived in the country under the pretext of continuing education, was detained in Malaysia in September, but in fact tried to obtain information about the activities of the American special services and military units in order to subsequently transmit the received information to the IG leadership. They turned out to be a hacker from Kosovo, Argit Ferizi, who was detained by the police in the territory of his native Kosovo, also on suspicion of extremist activity. In the southern Malaysian state of Malacca, as a result of the operational activities of the Malaysian counterintelligence, IG supporters were identified among local government officials involved in organizing the recruitment of IG militants among the local population.

To combat the spread of the Islamic State, which was banned in the country, the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development created a special information-oriented agency designed to explain the true nature of the IG to the public and counteract the recruitment of young Malaysians from the student and school environment to the IG. The agency is called the Committee for the Explanation of the Concept of Jihad, headed by Datuk Usman Mustafa. The committee includes representatives of the Ministry of the Interior of Malaysia, the National Security Council under the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Malaysian Police, the Institute of Islamic Understanding, Al-Hijra Media Corporation and the Institute of Islamic Strategic Studies. According to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, only recently in the country was 132 a man suspected of involvement in the activities of the banned organization Islamic State. According to the Malaysian counterintelligence, at least 45 Malaysian citizens take part in hostilities in Syria. Upon returning to Malaysia, militants are usually arrested for further interrogation by state intelligence officers.

- militants of the Abu Sayyaf organization (Philippines)

Philippines and Thailand: the radicalization of the "southern separatists"

The Philippines is a non-Muslim state, but with a significant Muslim community living in the south of the country - on the islands of Sulu and Mindanao. Even before the Philippine Islands in the XVI century were colonized by Spanish expeditions, Islam spread to the southern islands, which the locals adopted under the influence of Arab and Malayan merchants from neighboring Indonesia and Malaya who visited the Philippines. People practicing Islam in the Philippines are often united under the name of "moro" - "moors" (this is also evidence of Spanish heritage). For more than three centuries, the Spanish colonialists attempted to subjugate the Sultanates of Sulu, Magindanao, and Buyian, located in the Southern Philippines. Only in 1870-s. Spain managed to force the sultans to recognize the protectorate over their possessions, but in reality the territories of the Muslim provinces of the southern Philippines maintained real autonomy and the situation in them was not controlled by the central authorities. In the modern Philippines, “moro” makes up only 5% of the population, but is distinguished by high political activity and a desire for independence. According to Moro, the proclamation of the sovereignty of the Philippines by justice should also mean the restoration of the sovereignty that existed before the 1870s. of the sovereign Muslim sultanates of Sulu, Magindanao, and Bayan. The Moro National Liberation Front (NPFM) was formed, leading since the 1970s. armed struggle for the secession of the southern Philippines and the creation of an independent state. The activities of the front, at the beginnings of which Nur Misuari stood, were actively supported and sponsored by Libya during the years of the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. Moro independence fighters collaborated with the Communists of the New People’s Army of the Philippines. In 2012, the NPFM declared the independence of the “Bangsamoro State”, which, according to separatist designs, should be a federation of two Islamic states, Sulu and Bangsamoro, the egalitarian multinational state of Mindanao and the socialist state of Compostela.

More radical positions are the Islamic Moro Liberation Front (IOFM), created in 1981 by Hashim Salamat and his supporters and advocating the creation of the Bangsamoro Islamic State. In contrast to the NPF, the PFIC sees Bangsamoro as an exclusively Islamic state and opposes negotiations with the central authorities and any concessions on the status of the region. In turn, in 1991, even more radical Islamists broke away from IOFM - the Abu Sayyaf group headed by Abubakar Janjalani and Gaddafi Janjalani. In 1990 - 2000 - s. Abu Sayyaf militants carried out a number of high-profile terrorist attacks in the Philippines, including attacks on foreign tourists and workers, members of the Philippine army and police. The organization’s biggest foray was an attack on a passenger ferry in 2004, which killed more than a hundred people. The United States of America accuses Abu Sayyaf of having links to al-Qaida. If we consider the possibility of spreading the activities of the Islamic State and other international radical organizations in the Philippines, then the environment associated with Abu Sayyaf is the most favorable ground for this process. Therefore, the Philippine government, which is also interested in stabilizing the political situation in the country, directs significant resources to strengthening law enforcement agencies, special forces and special services fighting against terrorists and extremists.

A similar situation exists in Thailand. As is known, the state religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, which the majority of the population professes. However, in the three southern provinces that were once annexed to Thailand — Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat — the majority of the population are Malays who practice Islam. The total number of Muslims in the country is about 5% of the population. Naturally, in the second half of the twentieth century, especially after the creation of an independent Malaysia, separatist sentiments began to spread here. Currently, there is the United Pattani Liberation Organization in the territory of Southern Thailand, which advocates the creation of an independent state of Pattani-Darussalam. In addition to it, several more religious fundamentalist organizations are active in the region - the Pattaani Islamic Movement, Pattani Islamic Mojahedin Group, Pattani Liberation National Front, Pattani National Revolutionary Front, Pattani Movement of Mojades, and the branches of Jemaa Islamia and Abu Sayyaf, o the activities of which we described above. In 2014-2015 Pattani’s separatists organized a series of explosions in southern provinces. Initially, most of the fighters for the independence of Pattani were not associated with international terrorist organizations and adhered to nationalistic rather than jihadist slogans. However, the ideological and practical transformation of Malay separatism in Thailand has recently been taking place. The national revolutionaries of the “old school” are being replaced by young Salafis. The most powerful organization at the present time is the National Revolutionary Front (Barisan Revolusi Nasional), which stands out from Salafi positions and has about 400 thousand supporters. The front propagates its ideas through mosques and Islamic schools, actively uses violent methods of struggle, including suicide bombers. Malay Salafists in the south of Thailand are no longer just for the proclamation of independence of Pattani, but also for the region's entry into the Islamic caliphate. Thai authorities consider the problem of Pattani as a very serious factor in the destabilization of the situation in the country. According to some experts, after Syria and Iraq - this is one of the most conflict-prone areas. Finally, the situation in neighboring Myanmar is quite tense. Here Muslims make up about 4% of the country's population and are harassed by the central authorities. Burmese Muslims - Rohingya forced to move to the territory of neighboring Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh. Meanwhile, the socially deprived environment of refugees and displaced persons is an excellent ground for spreading radical views.
Author:
P P 'SЊSЏ RџRѕR "RѕRЅSЃRєRёR№
Photos used:
http://obozrevatel.com/, http://www.pravoslavie.by/, www.pacifiqa.com
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