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Buddhist FuryReligion and Violence in Southern Thailand$
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Michael K. Jerryson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793235

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793235.001.0001

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(p.143) 5 Identity
Buddhist Fury

Michael K. Jerryson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the fifth religious dimension to the conflict in southern Thailand, identity. U.S. scholarship of Thailand has traditionally neglected the role of race and its interplay with ethnicity and religion. This problematic lens obfuscates perspectives on the social system in Thailand, particularly in understanding the violence in southern Thailand. The chapter traces the genesis of racially charged terms from South Asia to Thailand. These racial terms greatly influence the politics of citizenship. For many in Thailand, to be Thai is synonymous with being Buddhist. It is through this framework that Thai Malay Muslims are alienated from Thai society on two levels: ethnicity and religion. This structural form of violence is a global phenomenon. It drives the religious tensions in the three southernmost provinces as well as the other countries such as India, Israel, and Brazil.

Keywords:   identity, race, ethnicity, structural violence, global, Israel, India, Brazil

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