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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Uygur Terrorism Put in Perspective

An article by Amnesty International and a study conducted by James Milward of the East West Centre Washington puts the question of claimed Uygur terrorism into perspective and I can commend both to anyone interested in the "War on Terrorism" in general and Uygur "terrorism" in particular.

Like a growing number of commentators I have long believed the "War on Terrorism" has brought more harm to the world than the evil it attempts to fight.

The "War On Terror": commendable in theory, woeful in execution, horrendous in result.

Countless trillions of dollars have been spent for an ever diminishing return on investment, some of the best minds in the world have been diverted to a cause for so little tangible positives for the world and a vast infrastructure has been put in place that serves very little purpose. People have suffered and died innocently or for no reason.

Whilst terrorism is an evil and must be confronted and destroyed wherever it raises it's ugly head we should have been careful from day one of this "war" that in the pursuit of it's objective that we did not "chuck the baby out with the bathwater". That "collateral damage", so prevalent in any war, was kept to a minimum.

Unfortunately our baby has definitely been sent tumbling and sliding down a stream of discarded bathwater. What final injuries it will sustain in it's tumble is yet to be fully ascertained suffice to say that it will not come out uninjured and unbruised.

The Uygur ethnic minority of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China's northwest are a perfect example of how 9 million people have been wrongly painted with the wide brush of "terrorism" for no other reason than they happen to be Muslims and that it suited the purpose of an unscrupulous government to depict them thus.

The "War on Terrorism" as it has been conducted in it's Xinjiang "theatre of operations" with either the explicit support of the free world or at the least it's tacit approval has unfairly demonised a race of people, sent them to jails, to torture and even death.

It has assisted in the more rapid dismantling of their culture by the Chinese, it has impacted incredibly on their freedoms of religion and association.

It has helped the marginalisation of Uygur youth and added to their feelings of helplessness and lack of control over their destiny and by doing so, in no small way, become partly responsible for the Uygur youth drug problem and resultant AIDS epidemic sweeping this people.

What is unbelievable however and a mark of this great and generally peaceful people is that they have not been radicalized by their experiences and forced into the very thing the "War" is supposed to stop.

Like a baby chucked out with the bathwater but still having nothing but love for the one hurting it so too do the Uygur remain supportive and hopeful of a "free world" that has for all intents and purposes abandoned them.


Link: Additional Information Read Rating:

James Millward. "Violent Separation in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment" East West Centre Washington

People's Republic of China
Uighurs fleeing persecution as China wages its "war on terror". Amnesty International July 7 2004