The northwest section of Thailand is among the regions in this Buddhist nation which has a significant Muslim population. Abdul Khalik, a reporter for the Jakarta Post, reported scenes of Muslims bringing food and seeking blessings from monks who had fled Myanmar. He says it is a common sight to witness Muslims offering aid to Burmese refugees even though they are from a different religion. The city of Mae Sot is now headquarters of the Burmese Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) which is run by dissidents and is probably one of the most important sites for accurate information concerning the brutal military junta in Myanmar. According to an AAPP activist, “the latest wave of protests has seen an influx of fleeing activists to this town. We feel safe here as people don’t question us.” It is estimated there are about 80,000 Burmese in the area.
The American media will always report stories concerning Muslim violence, but rarely deal with stories like this in which Muslims reach out to assist those of another persecuted religion. In this area of Thailand, Muslims and Buddhists live in peace. This type of story will never make the six o’clock news.