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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/1/19

China is Saving the Uighurs From Jihadist Indoctrination

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Before explaining the core of my argument, I should establish these facts:

-The Chinese government's relationship to the Uighurs, and to China's Muslim population in general, has been wildly distorted by the Western propaganda machine. The widespread media claim that "1 million" Uighurs have been detained by China lacks real evidence; when the United Nations supposedly corroborated this charge last year, the authority which made it was in fact an independent commission that was using the U.N. as a platform. This commission's "1 million Uighurs" accusation came solely from thinly sourced reports by a Chinese opposition group that receives funding from Western governments and is tied to pro-U.S. activists. In short, the estimate of the amount of Uighurs in detention has been dishonesty distorted by sources with a vested interest in undermining the Chinese Communist Party.

-To make these false portrayals of the Uighur situation more believable, the U.S./NATO propaganda machine has also promoted conspiracy theories about China harvesting the organs of its Muslim prisoners. These allegations have been thoroughly debunked by researchers, including ones from the typically anti-China publication the Washington Post. An investigative piece on Chinese organ transplants by the Post has stated that: "research and reporting by The Washington Post undercut these allegations [of abuses]. Transplant patients must take immunosuppressant drugs for life to prevent their bodies from rejecting their transplanted organs. Data compiled by Quintiles IMS, an American health-care-information company, and supplied to The Post, shows China's share of global demand for immunosuppressants is roughly in line with the proportion of the world's transplants China says it carries out."

-The actual evidence supports the view that China is treating the Uighurs and other Muslims humanely and respectfully. China has a litany of laws which prohibit ethnic and religious discrimination, including equal representation for varieties of people in government, state-sanctioned use of ethnic minority languages in courts and media, and legal protection of indigenous customs. This has resulted in all of China's Muslims, including the Uighurs, fully sharing in the democratic rights and high living standards that socialism has brought to the Chinese people. There are thousands of mosques in Xinjiang, there are popular Uighur musicians and TV hosts in China, and Uighurs and the others in Xinjiang enjoy an increasingly modernized society where poverty is close to being eliminated.

Under this in fact very liberal and humane set of laws around race and religion, Uighurs of both the moderate and more conservative leanings are treated equally by the state. The only Uighurs which China feels the need to give special attention are the ones who've shown themselves to embrace extremist and hateful views that encourage acts of terrorism.

If the Western media were really concerned about stopping the indoctrination of Uighur youth, it would be condemning not China but the United States. The Uighurs have created a very old and deep culture, and most of them are good and law-abiding citizens of the People's Republic of China. Most followers of Sunni Islam worldwide aren't terrorists either. But to further its interests, the U.S. empire has been working to turn these Muslims-especially the ones in China-towards violent jihad.

For decades, the U.S. has been helping Islamic terrorist groups so that it can advance its goal of dominating the Middle East. It's been proven that Washington officials have been complicit in the rise of ISIS as a result of their project for providing aid to the militant Islamic groups that have tried to overthrow Bashar al-Assad. Last year, President Trump even came out in support of the Islamic terrorists in Idlib by urging Russia and Iran not to intervene in the jihadist-occupied city. This strategic willingness to side with the terrorists that America supposedly hates has manifested in a Western campaign to destabilize China using religion and terror.

According to a series of reports from the Chinese government, the U.S. and Turkey have been aiding and abetting Uighur separatists in Xinjiang. Upon critically examing China's claims in an essay titled "Uyghur Militants in Syria: The Turkish Connection," Dr Michael Clarke has concluded that "The apparent linkage of Uyghur militants not only to long-standing sanctuaries in the 'Af-Pak' frontier region but also to the jihadist 'witches brew' of Syria points to an unprecedented trans-nationalization of Uyghur terrorism. While the number of Uyghurs involved would appear to be small, the danger for Beijing is that some may either return to Xinjiang or seek to influence or recruit others."

As a result, China has had to deal with a crisis of brewing violence. As the journalist on Syrian affairs Steven Sahiounie has observed, "Syria's ambassador in Beijing, Imad Moustapha, declared up to 5,000 ethnic Uyghurs from China were in Syria fighting alongside armed jihadists as of May 2017. For anyone who has actually followed real reporting on the ground in Syria, you would know that Uyghurs are among the most violent of all the various fighting groups in Syria."

Investigative journalist Andre Vltchek has assessed the implications of exporting this violent cultural pathology to the Uighurs within China:

They are everywhere, where their Western, Gulf states and Turkish handlers want them to be. Their combat as well as political cells and units are based in Syria and Indonesia, in Turkey and occasionally in Egypt. When they are told to kill, they murder with unimaginable brutality; decapitating, or cutting to pieces priests, infants, old women. They are China's worst nightmare. They are unleashing religious fundamentalism and foreign-sponsored militant nationalism and separatism. They are potentially the greatest obstacle and danger to President's Xi Jinping's marvelous BRI (Belt and Road Initiative).

The Western imperialists, in their endless operations of violent geopolitical strong-arming and gaslighting propaganda, have portrayed China's response to the crisis as an Islamophobic atrocity. Western reporting on the Uighur educational training centers, even when it involves sending journalists to the centers, is slanted with the intent of painting the whole affair as a sinister Chinese plot. One BBC article about the centers which features interviews with Uighurs also includes the false claim that "more than a million" are being held, and the article subtly dismisses that religious extremism is the cause of China's creation of the centers. One line from it even compares the centers to Nazi concentration camps, a suggestion that should be seen as offensive to the victims of an actual genocide where millions of people were targeted for nothing more than their religion or their ethnicity.

Yet even this article had to admit that the centers are kept very clean, that everyone in them is well-fed, and that people in them can take part in study programs and music and dance classes which bring them undeniable enjoyment. This is the environment that Uighurs in China are placed in after they've exhibited behaviors which portend to them picking up a weapon and bringing the horrors of the Syrian battlefields to China. China's government has brought the dangerous situation that the U.S.-backed Islamic militants have created towards a peaceful resolution. Instead of killing their citizens with drones when suspected of terrorist affiliation (as the U.S. does), China is sacrificing a lot of resources and compassionate energy to help the at-risk Uighurs reach a better place in life.

No matter how much the U.S. and its allies distort these facts, they can't stop the world outside of the core imperialist nations from recognizing the truth about China's Muslims. In March, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation said upon sending representatives to Xinjiang that it "welcomes the outcomes of the visit conducted by the General Secretariat's delegation upon invitation from the People's Republic of China; commends the efforts of the People's Republic of China in providing care to its Muslim citizens; and looks forward to further cooperation between the OIC and the People's Republic of China." It also said that "Security had returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there had been safeguarded. There had been no terrorist attack there for three years and people enjoyed a stronger sense of happiness, fulfillment and security...Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a series of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including setting up vocational education and training centers."

This is why when 22 countries within the U.S./NATO alliance signed a letter this year condemning China for this fictitious persecution campaign against Muslims, no Islamic nations signed the letter along with them. America has isolated itself on the world stage by pushing this false narrative, with only the leaders of the U.S. empire's remaining loyal countries being willing to entertain Washington's transparent lies about China.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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