Muslim separatist organization in Thailand, established in 1968. Its goal is to create an independent Islamic state from the current Thai provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, and Satun. Creation of this state is considered essential to the preservation of “Malayness” and the Islamic way of life of local Malay Muslims. The group considers Thailand an occupying power, from whom independence can be wrested only through the use of armed force. Popular with younger, more militant Malay Muslims, and has attracted moral, financial, and other support from Malay individuals, organizations associated with the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), and the Middle East.