"And In Their Triumph Die, Like Fire And Powder
Which, As They Kiss, Consume."
China has taken to a policy of exploitation and dehumanization of it's Uyghur Muslim population in the troubled Xinjiang province. Through the oppressive tactics of exploiting Uyghur as a supply of cheap labor through legislative processes the Chinese have locked the Uyghur people into the role of a permanent underclass. The government routinely looks the other ways as members of the Han majority ethnic group use mob violence to put Uyghur back beneath the heel of People's Republic. When Uyghur dare to fight back against savage attacks they are quickly put down by Chinese security forces.
This is exactly what happened as Uyghur Muslims gathered at the Peyshenbe Bazaar Mosque in Aykol, Xinjiang. According to the official state report the police were supposedly unarmed and simply attempting to arrest a couple worshipers who had been reported to have violated the strict religious laws of China. However if this is to be believed one would have to wonder how the incident quickly spiraled out of control leaving at least four dead and around 20 more wounded. Not a single security officer was injured.
Upon arrival at the Mosque the Chinese police did in fact begin their roundups of Uyghur men they claimed had violated laws restricting religious practices within China. But the security personnel were far from unarmed and simply acting out of legal precedent. The moment the Uyghur showed any resistance to the police officers' displays of force the Chinese security radioed in for backup and commenced to firing live ammunition in amongst the gathered Uyghur civilians. As the bullets began to fly the police's violent tendencies led to a violent tragedy.
Several reports vary on where and how severely Subhinur Memet, a four year old girl, was injured after being struck by police bullets. Some indicate that the little girl took a bullet to the chest while others say that she had been struck in the leg. On any account the young girl collapsed as the police continued to pour bullets into the area where she had fell. As of now the young girl is believed to be alive at least.
Everyone who has reported on the barbaric actions of the police in Aykol agree that tensions between the Uyghur and Chinese authorities flared immensely when the four year old girl was struck down. The Uyghur worshipers apparently ceased from fleeing the fight and turned to attack the police with sticks and stones. With this the police showed more force and more barbarism in their attack by firing even more rounds at closer range.
The result was devastating in a town where relations between the Uyghur population and the Chinese authorities were already strained. With four confirmed dead civilians (some indicate the casualties could be much higher) and a low estimate of at least 20 wounded the town was turned into a miniature police state. After the blood bath was over the Chinese flooded Aykol with every type of police unit they could find.
In response to the resistance that the Uyghur had shown at the Mosque the Chinese officials ordered raids upon Uyghur homes. List of Uyghurs who had been at the Mosque were checked off almost in order as Chinese police took to busting in doors and arresting any Uyghur man or boy who had been present earlier that day. At least three Uyghur women were also arrested by Chinese police as they cast a wide net over Aykol on the night of the Eid massacre.
Officially only 90 people have been arrested in connection to the violence instigated by Chinese police. However some estimate that the arrest could be well over one to two hundred people as Chinese police raided neighboring villages and towns from where some worshipers had traveled from. On the following day these suspicions were only stoked even more as Aykol citizens reported gunshots from Chinese police positions around the city.
So Why This Attack? Why On Eid?
China has long restricted the rights of it's Muslim minorities across the country. For the Uyghur this had been a sore spot in the relationship Xinjiang has had with Beijing. It was further stressed as Chinese authorities began to crackdown on prayer violations and religious gatherings amongst Uyghur Muslims. Local mosque have often been kept under police surveillance as the state continues to impose restrictions on prayer times and the length of religious observances. Ramadan has thus turned into a time of tribulation for the Uyghur as they struggle to observe the holy month under increased state sponsored oppression.
With increased violence, often instigated by Chinese Han and/or police, the Uyghur have found themselves facing travel restrictions that keep them confined in smaller and smaller areas. Farmers are often kept from selling their goods as they wish so that the state's low offer is the only income they can find. Workers are restricted to certain levels of employment and kept from any entrepreneurial ventures. Religious clothing and hair styles are treated as a threat by the state, thus Uyghurs are forced to dress and look like Han Chinese.
All of this state sponsored repression has led to an Uyghur population that is growing ever desperate for some small taste of freedom and the right to enjoy their own culture. Where they have sought compromise they have been told they must accept the Chinese customs and practices. Where they have attempted to make peace the state has only offered them suffering.
Uyghur youth who take advantage of educational opportunities often denied to their fellow Uyghur students are turned back once they are done with academia. As their Han classmates move onto careers that fit their level of education, the Uyghur are returned to manual labor for below sustainable incomes. This desire to keep the Uyghur below the Han majority has added yet more stress on the ethnic relations between the two groups.
So it is no surprise that with all this repression that harsh prayer restrictions and restrictions on religious gatherings would bring relations between Xinjiang and Beijing to a crashing halt. There is no more room for compromise on the Uyghur peoples' part. When it comes to the basic human rights (religion being one) they Uyghur cannot surrender to the will of the atheist state. And that is why incidents like this Eid massacre have taken place and will continue to occur.
These Are Not Polite Suggestions
If China is to maintain it's oppressive presence, at the very least, in Xinjiang it will have to either spill more and more blood or it will have to compromise it's communist and racial ideology. Xenophobic Beijing must learn to accept the ethnic diversity that comprises the rest of China. It will have to stop the importation of Han peasantry into Xinjiang and simply permit the wealth of China's economic growth to be granted to the Uyghurs as well. The ethnic cleansing taking place must be ended and the Uyghurs must be allowed to hold onto their homeland and their way of life.
Senseless slaughter of any ethnic minority in China must be stopped for China to avoid genocide. Uyghurs cannot be targeted due to their ethnicity to be "destroyed in part or in whole" so that China can benefit in any way from their demise. Their memory will live on, there are always survivors.
Therefore for China to move forward it must ease tensions by allowing religious observances to occur without police brutality, without police surveillance, and without a police presence. State dogs (officials) must be called off as Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Jews observe their given holy days. Religious dress must be tolerated for a society to live in peace and pursue economic, social, and national progress. It is not a platitude for a state to tolerate religion but a necessity for the survival of the state itself.
Ethnic tolerance must be pursued and the bigotry that has been tolerated must be corroded through state and social policies. An education system based upon the ethnic background of the individual must be rejected and replaced with an educational system that seeks out the natural talents of each individual student. Talents and gifts are not distributed by nature, G-d, or what ever you believe in based upon ethnic heritage. China should ask itself where the world would be today if Hitler had been successful in killing off Albert Einstein and his legacy.
If China does not manage to move away from it's current policies of repression and ethnic cleansing it will face far more than stones down the road. A people who are oppressed in this manner have always shown throughout history that violence... the threat of extinction... is never sufficient at keeping them down forever. The Armenians rose up to meet the Young Turks and fought valiantly even as the Ottomans threatened to kill off every Armenian as a result. The Jewish partisans in Yugoslavia, Russia, Poland, and across Europe took to violent resistance as the threat of Nazism engulfed the world around them. Native Americans time and time again stood between death and the United States and yet they fought more fiercely than anyone could had imagined.
In the end China will have to remember the words of JFK as they continue to repress the Uyghur people.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
~John F. Kennedy
This is not a "jihad" for the unlawful control of their country. This is not a war to take from China land, material wealth, or even souls. This isn't even a war at all in the aspect that one side has nothing with which to fight back. This is a struggle by the Uyghur people to keep their heritage alive, to keep their religious rights from being wiped away. This is the struggle of a people to maintain their cultural identity as the Chinese government attempts to take from them the last hallmarks of their culture... their religion.
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(Note: not all sources listed)
Radio Free Asia
The Epoch Times