Friday, November 25, 2005

Attacks Threaten Religious Harmony in Southeast Asia

Via Replikk:

Attacks Threaten Religious Harmony in Southeast Asia

Buddhist monks are being murdered, Christian schoolchildren beheaded and dissenters blown up. Southeast Asia's peaceful co-existence among religions is under siege, from Bangkok to Jakarta. Meanwhile, politicians and military leaders are using Islamic fervor to boost their own power. More than 1,000 people have been killed in southern Thailand in the past two years in clashes involving the military, Muslims and Buddhist settlers. But the slaughtering of monks by Muslim holy warriors -- that was a first. It brings with it an unmistakable message: that dedicated jihadists who have been committing acts of terror in Southeast Asia for years have now set their sights on this primarily Buddhist country. The region's image of peaceful co-existence among more than 200 million Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus -- a peaceful co-existence among vastly different religions from Indonesia to Burma, which has made Southeast Asia a model of tolerance -- now exists only in tourism ads. Terror is everywhere.


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