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China's "Muslim Problem" doesn't need US manipulation

Reader comment on item: Qaddafi's Ignominious End
in response to reader comment: What about directing worldwide jihad against China ?

Submitted by Kepha Hor (United States), Oct 21, 2011 at 23:17

Ianus, China's "Islamic problem" doesn't need any needling by the CIA or any other US agency. It is also far more complicated than the separatism in Sharki Turkistan, which plagued Qing and Republican governments in China as well as the Communists, and I speak as someone for whom Putonghua, written and spoken, is a working language.

While things are better today, the Communist Chinese regime's relationship with religious believers of various sorts have been problematic--an issue common among all Communist regimes. Mao's regime attacked religious belief in the name of "liberating" people, including forcing Muslim farmers to raise pigs. There was a fierce resistance to the Communists throughout the '30's, the postwar Civil War, and even down to the mid-1950's in regions where Hui (Chinese-speaking Muslims) were numerous. In 1994 there was a serious Muslim riot in Xining, Qinghai, in which the rioters pointedly avoided their traditional ethnic enemies, the ethnic Tibetans, remained friendly to certain American expat college teachers who were known to be sub-rosa Christian missionaries, and focused on Party and police targets. More recently, there has been agitation in heavily Muslim Ningxia against introducing casinos and other entertainements.

Religious Hui, like underground Christians in China's eastern and Central provinces, would probably be happier with wider religious liberties recognized. This is important when you consider that it is still officially a crime to give religious instruction to or (where there are Christians) to give baptism to anyone under 18.

China's government is so paranoid about unofficial religious activities that when a bunch of old foreign erstwhile Communist "foreign friends" resident in the country went "Frum" in their old age, and some of the people in Kaifeng, Henan wanted to explore their connection to a wider Jewish world from which they had been estranged for generations--a movement that involved at most a few hundred persons--the Party whispered darkly about what horrible things happened after "those people" in the Soviet Union started getting uppity. This happened back in the 1990's.

As for "Uyghuristan", America's quickness to identify the East Turkistan Islamic Movement as a terrorist movement owes far more to China's strong influence over America's economy and political classes than anything actually done by Uyghur separatists to American interests. When I lived in Guangzhou in the early 1990's, I bought bread and raisins from Uyghur migrants. And, frankly, I think that those people have a grievance. Given that the Great Father of the Peoples encouraged a movement for an independent Eastern Turkistan back when China was reactionary and counterrevolutionary, I wonder what else the CCP expected when they started stomping on everything the Uyghur held dear, taking the best land for military colonists, and expected the Uyghurs to be grateful. Add Islamic ideology into the mix, as well as proximity to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the clear message heard in 1991 that Big Brother might be mortal after all, nobody needs to look for a CIA hand when a military convoy is ambushed or Han settlers murdered in Eastern Turkistan.

Please, please, please, while I identify with the Western democratic tradition politically, I am still partially a man of the Orient., and know full well that those kin of mine are not just clay to be manipulated and shaped by Western hands.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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