This longitudinal, anthropological study challenges the single, dominant narrative of Muslim discourse in Thailand. It focuses on Thai Muslims in the Nipa Island (pseudonym) community on the Andaman coast, whose economic and education aspirations, social relationships, and ethnic identity have been significantly altered through globalization and the religio-political unrest on the southeastern coast of Thailand. Nipa islanders seek to define themselves on their own terms as both Thai and Muslim. Their Muslim identity is uniquely interwoven with the particularities of time, locality, and specific ethnocultural history that links them to the Andaman coast. Mapping Thai Muslims also traces Muslim socioreligious changes from two centuries ago to the 1980s and through to the present. The ongoing redrawing of Islamic religiosity allows unique insight into Nipa islanders as local actors and agents with their own individual viewpoints and consequent life decisions. Based as it is on extensive fieldwork, this study will be of great appeal to anthropologists, historians, Southeast Asian and Asian scholars, and readers interested in Islam and Muslim identity.
Publisher: Silkworm Books / Trasvin Publications LP