It is estimated that the population of Chiang Mai includes about 3 percent Muslim. Despite the diverse ethnic origins of Chiang Mai’s Muslims, it should not be forgotten that all Muslims holding Thai nationality consider themselves to be Thai first and foremost in mundane concerns. Of course as far as spiritual matters are concerned, their faith is very different from Buddhism.
Muslim Thais observe all Thai festivals and respect the King.
The minaret of the Attaqwa Mosque provides a fine example of this cultural synthesis which seems to work very well indeed. Suspended from the inside of the green, star-and-crescent topped dome there hangs a northern Thai gong, used to call the faithful of Chiang Mai to prayer. As a symbol of Islam in Northern Thailand, this must surely be hard to beat!
There was an Halal Festival here from 7-9 September. As today was the last day, I decided to take a look.
The festival was held in Jareunprathed Soi 1 off Changklan Road. opposite The Plaza Night Bazaar. There is a large mosque in the Soi, pictured on the right.
I took my camera along this morning. Here are some pictures.