Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Religious Killing in Southern Thailand

Thailand: Killings in the South
Thai security personnel inspect a grocer's shop where six people were shot dead by suspected Muslim militants in the southern province of Pattani May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Surapan Boonthanom\

When I first came to Georgia Tech I knew very few international people so all of the news that I heard from CNN or Fox always seemed quite distant.  I always felt detached from the topic and could never whole heartedly grasp the sentiments that others had about common issues in foreign places.  But the day I stepped foot on campus I met people from all corners of the globe and my perspective of what goes on in the world changed.  For example, I met someone from Australia who lived in Bangkok, Thailand for his entire high school career.  Just the other day as he explained to me his somewhat eccentric experiences there I found out that other parts of the world can be very different.  So as I skimmed through these Human Rights sites this article about southern Thailand caught my attention.  This articles details how over a short span of time six individuals who all belong to the Malay Muslim religious group have been murdered.  Each of these murders has sparked little to no police investigation into the matter and this is due to the religious beliefs of the individuals.  These attacks on Muslims have sparked a counter offensive against the Buddhists due to their involvement with the murders.  As I read further I began to think about my friend who lived in Bangkok.  This power struggle in a totally different part of the world slowly began to become real to me.  What if this happened in America? How would I feel about it? As these questions popped up in my mind I realized that these very questions were not just fabricated ideas for my friend, but instead his reality.   Many times we see articles about atrocities and become detached because the United States is a safe haven for religious and cultural ideologies (for the most part).  This article and my recent experiences have helped me to see what the rest of the world is like.  I learned that sometimes looking at something like this article from a different lens can make a world of difference in helping the privileged to understand that killings over religion still happen and that not everyone reads about it in a magazine because they have to live it every day.

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