Deep South Muslims want bombings to stop

Violent acts in southern Thailand disrupt thousands of lives and harm Islam's name.

By Rapee Mama in Narathiwat and Somchai Huasaikul and Samila Naranode in Hat Yai

May 23, 2014
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Deep South residents are pleading for insurgents to end bombings that make their lives harder and violate Islamic values.

  • Commuters at Tanyong Mat Train Station wait amid delays caused by a pair of bomb attacks on railway bridges in Narathiwat on May 14th. [Rapee Mama/Khabar]

    Commuters at Tanyong Mat Train Station wait amid delays caused by a pair of bomb attacks on railway bridges in Narathiwat on May 14th. [Rapee Mama/Khabar]

The pleas came after recent bomb attacks on Narathiwat railway bridges stranded thousands of travellers, and bombings in Hat Yai injured at least nine people.

"Consider the effects on poor people"

Blasts severed tracks on a railroad bridge in Tanyong Mat subdistrict, Ra-ngae district and damaged a bridge in Bukit subdistrict of Cho-airong district May 14th.

Ruesoh district resident Maeroh Jehmee told Khabar Southeast Asia the service disruption would make her life more difficult.

"I am poor and just manage to get by selling a small volume of goods, which I source from people on the passing trains," she said. "It makes me so sorry that of the many people who will suffer from these incidents, thousands of families, most are poor people. I would like to plead with those responsible to consider the effects on poor people like myself when considering any future attacks like these."

Thousands of students, vendors and other Deep South residents depend on the two main train lines that serve the area – the Hat Yai-Yala route and the Hat Yai-Sungai Kolok route. The railway disruption followed eight bombings in Sungai Kolok two days earlier.

"The trains are a very important in the way of life of poor people to get around, especially people like me who travel in third class to save money, but without other options we really get hit hard," commuter Useng Hayeemasae said.

"In a way, we were lucky this time that all the damage can be repaired and that there were no injuries. But we have to ask ourselves, who could be held accountable if people had been injured or killed? Who would help support the victims' families?"

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) hopes to complete repairs and get the entire Hat Yai-Sungai Kolok route back in operation by June 1st.

Hat Yai

Local Muslim leaders condemned the May 6th twin bombings in Hat Yai that targeted district police headquarters and injured at least nine people.

"Imam Hadyedend and the other kotep and bilan (religious teachers) here constantly stress peace and non-violence during Friday prayer sessions and sermons," said Sombut Punyapruk, a board member of the Mamudeya Hatyainai Mosque and retired police lieutenant.

The mosque lies at the centre of the Tasapatana Community in Hat Yai Nai, the largest cluster of Muslim homes and businesses in the city. No local Muslims have been linked to the attacks.

"Islam teaches people to be charitable to one another. Some individuals have said Islam is a violent religion, but the truth is that it is a religion that teaches love and unity as its core principle," Hadyedend Patila, the mosque's imam, told Khabar.

Reader Comments
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    • ahmad r.
      June 17, 2014 @ 05:06:31AM
    • Come on FPI, let's help them.
    • abyad
      June 15, 2014 @ 09:06:36AM
    • Remember that we are all brothers and sisters as it is in the word of the Prophet SAW. Let us help them with prayer, my brothers.
    • asep suherman
      June 15, 2014 @ 08:06:43AM
    • Violence happens because of the mistakes people make when electing a leadership figure, who is supposed to be the decision maker and the power. Only a virtuous leader will be able to protect their people to establish a good nation blessed by God.
    • wtriwahyudi
      June 13, 2014 @ 03:06:28AM
    • How can we expect the US not to step on us. We cannot even unite our own people. We are being divided into groups and we do not even realize it.
    • bambang ragil ragil
      June 12, 2014 @ 10:06:57PM
    • As long as "people do not leave the past behind, look to the future, move forward while advancing modern society". They will be dwarfed.
    • astri
      June 10, 2014 @ 06:06:52PM
    • Be strong.
    • wilson
      June 5, 2014 @ 01:06:07AM
    • Thailand is categorized as an unsafe country because it is prone to conflict. Even its government was toppled by a coup and threats can come at any time especially taking into account the religious social life, interference by foreign countries. Neighbors are needed for national security and to create a conducive security environment.
    • amel ahmad
      June 4, 2014 @ 12:06:20PM
    • Ignorant people are always whining, they do not know what the Muslims of Pattani are doing right now, whether they like imperialism or simply eating to live.
    • cecep supriatna
      June 3, 2014 @ 09:06:14PM
    • America is truly evil, imagine, the Indonesian people need to have many articles of clothing (10 headscarves, 20 sets of hijabs and 40 pairs of high heeled shoes), delicious food, nice tall houses, when Islam forbids all of that (see Q.S. At. Takatsur), clothing has to stray far from sharia. Islamic organizations are playing dumb (they receive benefits from there). Islam forbids women to wear trousers, to drive cars and motorcycles, Driver's Licenses are not issued for women in Islamic countries. In Indonesia, the MUI has been beaten by the secularists (women are allowed to drive vehicles, women are allowed to wear trousers, look at Mamah Dedeh, she doesn't wear pants).
    • jumiati
      June 20, 2014 @ 05:06:45AM
    • If a woman were to wear trousers she would no longer be a woman, she would be a man.
    • angin
      May 30, 2014 @ 12:05:25AM
    • Only America is saying that Islam is a religion of violence but the truth is that violence exists in Islam because of the injustice created by America.
    • ganis
      May 28, 2014 @ 05:05:42AM
    • I ask the Pesantrens, if we can help their children so that there is good communication and relations between nations but we are fellows in religion and principle. Thank you to the volunteers who will facilitate and cultivate relationships.
    • angin
      May 30, 2014 @ 12:05:26AM
    • Violence exists because economic and military imperialisms are being imposed by people of the West and therefore injustice exists everywhere.
    • slamet suwandi
      May 28, 2014 @ 02:05:19AM
    • This is news that must be followed by all the Muslims in the world, especially Indonesians because Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world.

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Mariyah Nibosu, whose husband was shot dead in 2009 by unknown gunmen, stands outside her home in September 2013 in the state-run 'widows' village' of Rotan Batu, 20km from Narathiwat. "Women suffer a lot here," she said. "But we are strong. We have to feed our children by ourselves. We have to survive." [Christophe Archambault/AFP]

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