Thailand’s Interior Minister has called for a ban on religious tattoos to no longer be done on foreigners.
It was pointed out that many foreigners will get a Buddha tattoo done on areas of the body such as feet or ankles that many Thai Buddhists find offensive, or Buddha images on those who are not Thai Buddhist. It would also include images of Ganesh…
The Minister has said this is offensive to Thai people and as such is a practice that should be stopped.And the Ministry is going to try to enforce, as best they can, what they interpret to be the correct practice of religious imagery tattoos in Thailand. They hope to pass a law later this year banning this practice and have asked the regional Governors for their help in this matter.
On one had you have a Government Agency trying to enforce what would amount to religious interpretation of correct religious dogma and on the other hand a respect for Thai traditions. One does have to wonder how they would enforce such a ban – and the practicalities of such a ban. Would it be a foreign Buddhist could get one, but not a Christian? What about Thai Muslims or Hindus?? How do you tell exactly who is Buddhist and what branch of Buddhism they belong to? Perhaps the ban could also be widened to apply to the wearing of Christian crosses by Thai non-Christians as a crime… and what exactly would be the penalty if a Thai tattooist who does do the work? Would foreigners be banned on entry if they do have one?
Many questions are being asked about this new law and it will be interesting, to say the least, as to where this winds up. For more information on Thai tattoos click Here.