Understanding CVE and Anti-Islam Sentiment in Thailand
While the conflict in Thailand’s far South is ethno-nationalist in nature, there are concerns that political context could turn it into a “jihadist” conflict. In the Southern Thailand context, the state needs to do better job in explaining the complexity of the conflict. State agencies must be clear about what exactly they are looking for as they monitor online activities for radical messages. Identifying specific aspects of online messages can contribute to understanding communication strategy of the terrorists. More space must be created to encourage dialogue among various religious and ethnic groups, with government participation at times, to prevent dispute and tensions from escalating. An early warning system should be put in place with a plan of action to respond to whatever issues that may surface. It goes without saying but all work towards understanding and detecting extremism must be sensitive to the local political context. Non-state responses to violent extremism could in many ways be in better place to address local drivers of radicalisation.
About the speaker:
Don Pathan is a Thailand-based security analyst and consultant with more than 20 years of experience in reporting on diplomacy, international relations, transnational crime and insurgency in Southeast Asia. He is currently the Director of Foreign Relations at the Patani Forum, a civil society organisation that was set up in 2011 to promote critical dialogue about the nature of the ongoing conflict and insurgency in Thailand’s southernmost Malay Muslim provinces of Thailand. Pathan briefs the diplomatic community and international organisations on a regular basis and lecture on a wide range of issues pertaining to security in Thailand and Southeast Asia. He co-authored a chapter in “Promoting Conflict or Peace through Identity” in 2008 with Sciences-Po’s Assoc. Prof. David Camroux . The work was published by Ashgate in 2008 and appeared in a UN University Book. “Confronting Ghosts: Thailand’s Shapeless Southern Insurgency” was co-authored with Rajaratnam School of International Studies’ Assoc. Prof. Joseph Liow. The Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia published the monograph in 2010. Pathan has taken up assignments with numerous institutions over the years and continues to write for various outlets.
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