China Inching Closer to Civil War with Turkey-Backed Muslims

Tensions between the Chinese government and the Turkey-supported Uyghurs in the country’s northwest province of Xinjiang are definitely escalating. The government wants to crackdown on what it sees as a source of terrorism and separatism; the Turkish-speaking Muslim Uyghurs are pushing back. Often lost on all of this is Turkey’s tacit but strong support for the Uyghurs. Uyghurs in Turkey have been known to protest by burning Chinese flags.

According to a report by the Daily Sabah:

The capital of China’s restive western region of Xinjiang has introduced a law banning veiled robes in public amid measures taken by Beijing to curb Muslim ‘extremists’. The law in the predominantly Muslim region comes as Beijing intensifies a campaign against ‘religious extremism’ that it blames for the violence that has left hundreds dead in the past 20 months. “This fits into the larger pattern, keeping up with the trend in the past five years that has really intensified in the last year by the government to try to forcibly reshape and standardize the type of garment among the Uighur females,” said James Leibold, a scholar of ethnic policies at Australia’s La Trobe University. “It polarizes the tensions even further, and you get violent push-back,” Leibold said, noting that acts of unveiling Uighur women have been met with resistance in Xinjiang.

In August, the northern Xinjiang city of Karamay announced that young men with beards and women in burqas or hijabs would not be allowed on public buses. In another public campaign called “Project Beauty,” authorities have banned veils and masks that cover up a woman’s face. Uighur women also are requested to tie headscarves behind their ears, instead of wrapping them around their chins, a custom authorities say is not indigenous to Uighur cultures. Police also have raided women’s dress shops in Xinjiang and confiscated full-length robes. The government is suspicious of Islam, and has tried to discourage traditional Muslim practice in the Xinjiang autonomous region. The government also banned prayer meetings and other religious practices in government buildings, schools and business offices. Religious activities will now be restricted only to take place in registered venues like mosques. The bans were put into effect as of Jan. 1.

Chinese government is known with its oppression on Muslims. On Sep. an outspoken scholar who championed China’s Uighur minority was convicted of separatism by a Chinese court and sentenced to life in prison, according to the scholar’s lawyers. Rights groups have condemned the targeting of Tohti, a respected economist and moderate who had long denounced the repression of Uighurs.

As has reported, the Uyghurs are largely a Turkish speaking bunch that is revered by the Erdogan regime in Turkey. It will be interesting to see if Turkey’s support for the Uyghurs will create a wedge between the two countries.

On one hand, the Chinese government has been rather overt and politically incorrect about its decision to crack down on Islam. On the other hand, it’s cracking down on all religions to include Christianity, in a case of throwing the Christian baby out with the Islamic bathwater. While the government sees Religious extremism as the cause for so much violence in that country, a closer look may reveal a clearer profile of the perpetrators.

China would do well to consider Christians as allies.

In 2012, Erdogan and then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid a visit to Xinjiang, a place the Turks consider to be East Turkistan. Check out just how much the Uyghurs fawned over Erdogan.

Propaganda with a new standard for sap:


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