Xinjiang in radical Islam’s crosshairs

Professor Ilham Tohti, an economist and moderate Uyghur activist recently jailed for 30 years.

Professor Ilham Tohti, an economist and moderate Uyghur activist recently jailed for 30 years.

The Chinese Communist Party policy towards minorities, particularly Tibetans and Uyghurs, has clearly failed. Self-immolation by Tibetans – since February 2009 133 men and women have made the ultimate political protest – and increasingly frequent attacks by Uyghurs such as the Urumqi market bombing and the Kunming train station knife massacre as well as the dud car bomb in Tiananmen shows these ethnic groups are desperate and the Uyghurs for one are beginning to organise.

Today the South China Morning Post reports Islamic extremists are openly discussing how they can help the Muslim Uyghurs throw off the yoke of “godless” communist rule. According to the SCMP  jihadis in Uzbekistan, which borders China, are making contact with like-minded Uyghurs and a group called the Turkestan Independence Party has based itself in the tribal badlands of Pakistan. East Turkestan was the name of two short lived republics set up by the Uyghurs first in the early 1930s and then again from 1944-1949.

Al Qaeda as well the “Caliph” who leads ISIS/ISIL  the group currently tearing down the Middle East’s borders are quoted.

“Caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,  spoke of Muslim rights being “forcibly seized” in China in a call for Muslims around the world to pledge allegiance to him. “Your brothers all over the world are waiting for your rescue, and are anticipating your brigades,” Baghdadi told his followers.

Beijing is beginning to reap what it has sown.

The article also mentions an English language Al-Qaeda publication called Inspire. LRB found it online, you won’t be in the least enthused.




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