Jul 31, 2014


It is sad to hear that the Muslims in the restive west of China's Xinjiang province have unjustly killed a 74 year-old government-appointed imam of the Id-Kah Masjid for speaking favourably on the Chinese government and its policy towards Muslims, particularly the Uighur Muslims of Turkic descent. This acrimonious relations between the Hans and the Uighur has been brewing for far too long, particularly so after the influx of Han Chinese to the Uighur dominated Xinjiang, which the people of that area call it as Eastern Turkistan.

Generally China does not favor any religion to dictate its course of action. The Buddhists in Tibet have been fighting for their own independence from Darmasala in India while the Christians have the Crosses removed from their Churches. As for Muslims in China, I found that most of them are allowed to function on their own as long as they do not dictate separation or independence. My visit to Sha Dian in 2012 (more details will be uploaded later in my travelogue) was an eye-opener on the situation of Chinese Muslims. Certainly China has done significant progress in the economic domain of its people, but at the same time it must work on the socio-cultural aspects of the various ethnic groups so that they will not feel intimidated by the expanding Han presence in their midst. 

China must make sincere efforts to win the minds and the hearts of the people. No brute force will solve any issue. It may subside for a while before it comes out exploding later. Of course there will be some extreme elements in every group, that include the Hans as well, but in charting its policy of inclusiveness Chinese leaders must not exclude any ethnic group by employing differential treatment. It is time for China to embrace diversity and accommodate differences in the best interest of its unity.


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