Religion, Race and Politics: ASEAN’s Gordian Knot

FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — Delivering an integrated economic community by 2015 is a long-cherished ASEAN dream. But events in recent weeks have shown just how difficult the task will be, driving home the complex realities facing the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), particularly on issues of race and creed.

Hardline Islamic militancy has surfaced again in Indonesia, while in the Southern Philippines ongoing tensions between Christians, Muslims and ethnic Moros in search of a homeland have spilled over into Sabah in East Malaysia. In Burma, anti-Muslim attacks have spread, while in Vietnam and Laos all religions must follow the lead of an atheist central government.

Read more from Luke Hunt in The Diplomat.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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