Faith and Fear: How Religion Complicates Conflict Resolution in Southeast Asia
Michael Vatikiotis, HD Centre
This paper will examine the ways in which the Islamic factor is having a distracting and distorting effect on conflicts that are quite local in origin, and perhaps prolonging them. It will also consider the role of local religious leaders and the way in which religious teaching and organization has affected these conflicts.The focus is on Southern Thailand, where the central clash is between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The stress is on field-level examples of how the religious factor has complicated efforts to mediate and prevented governments from adopting more enlightened policies.