Buddhist–Muslim Dynamics in Siam/Thailand

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Buddhist-Muslim Relations in a Theravada World


In this chapter, we describe the interrelationships between the approximate four million Muslims and the 62 million Theravada Buddhists residing in Thailand. We discuss some of the historical, economic, political, and religious factors that have influenced the interaction between these ethnoreligious groups. The majority of the Muslims reside in provinces in south Thailand near the Malaysian border. Many of these Muslims retain their Malay Muslim identity, resulting in tensions with the Thai Buddhist authorities, including a tragic insurgency movement beginning in 2004. We also discuss the ethnic diversity and origins of the Muslim migrants and descendants and their relationship to Thai Buddhists in central and north Thailand. Although harmonious relations have existed between Muslims and Buddhists in Thailand, current political circumstances have exacerbated Islamophobic tendencies.


DOI: 10.1007/978-981-32-9884-2_4

Publication Date