BANGKOK (dpa) – Villagers in northern Thailand are protesting the construction of a mosque in a settlement where they say there are no Muslims, a news report said Wednesday.
Residents of Bupharam village in Nan province, 500 kilometres north of Bangkok, held a town hall meeting where many expressed concerns that the project may have ulterior motives and possibly lead to religious unrest.
A Muslim group has bought land in the village and cleared the area to begin construction.
“There are only two provinces left in Thailand that do not have a mosque,” said Imam Yarin, the head of the group that bought the land, and which is based in another province.
He said a mosque was necessary there to give visiting Muslims somewhere to practise their religion.
Predominantly Buddhist Thailand has a Muslim population of around 5 per cent, mostly in the southernmost provinces near the border with Malaysia.a