Outbursts of Violence: Reaction to Oppression or Acts of Terrorism? An Analytical Study of Han Chinese and Uighur Muslims Relations

Elizabeth LeFavour

Abstract


The Uighur, a group of Chinese Muslims residing in the Xianjiang province, are a minority in communist China. For centuries Muslims have suffered persecution from the central government through policies, economic disadvantages, and geopolitical isolation. The Han have begun to show greater interest in the region due to the natural oil resources. Therefore, tension between the Uighurs and the Han government has amplified significantly and violent Uighur attacks are common.Terrorism remains a primary concern in the United States, especially for policy makers shifting their focus to Asian politics. This paper questions whether the outbursts of violence are a result of ethnic oppression or acts of terrorism.  Through analysis of fieldwork, and interpretation of the media, the issue is comprehensively evaluated. The results found that though terrorist in nature, the outbursts should be considered expressions of resentment for years of subjugation by the Han Chinese.  The situation is complex and history plays an important role in being able to grasp the political situation for the Uighur going forward.  These results are helpful in understanding the situation for Muslims in China. This understanding can be applied to gaining a deeper appreciation for the cultural complexities that exist in East Asia as well and the difficulty for future politics in the region.


Keywords


China; Uighurs; Terrorism

References


Associated Press. "China Bans Ramadan Fasting in Muslim Northwest | Al Jazeera America." China Bans Ramadan Fasting in Muslim Northwest | Al Jazeera America. N.p., 3 July 2014. Web. 30 June 2015.

Associated Press. "China Blames Separatists for Knife Attack at Train Station That Leaves 33 People Dead." Fox News 02 Mar. 2014: n. pag. Print.

Beech, Hannah. "If China Is Anti-Islam, Why Are These Chinese Muslims Enjoying Faith Revival?" Time.com. N.p., 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 2 Apr. 2015.

Branigan, Tania. "Ethnic Violence in China Leaves 140 Dead." The Gaurdian.com. N.p.,6 July 2009. Web. 30 June 2015.

Crane, Brent. "A Tale of Two Chinese Muslim Minorities." The Diplomat. N.p., 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.

Drennan, Justine. "Is China Making Its Own Terrorism Problem Worse?" Foreign Policy Is China Making Its Own Terrorism Problem Worse Comments. Foreign Policy, 09 Feb. 2015. Web. 30 June 2015.

"Islam in China." China Highlights.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2015.

Israeli, Raphael. Islam in China: Religion, Ethnicity, Culture, and Politics. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2002. Print.

Jacobs, Andrew. "Uighurs in China Say Bias Is Growing." The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Oct. 2013. Web. 09 June 2015.

Jiang, Steven, and Katie Hunt. "Five Arrested in Tiananmen Square Incident, Deemed a Terrorist Attack." CNN 30 Oct. 2013: n. pag. Print.

Jiang, Steven. "China Bans Wearing Burqa in Biggest Muslim City."CNN.com. N.p., 14 Jan. 2015. Web. 8 Apr. 2015.

Kaltman, Blaine. Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China. Athens: Ohio UP, 2007. Print.

Kurlantzick, Joshua. "The Unsettled West." Foreign Affairs July 2004: n. pag. Print.

Lipman, Jonathan Neaman. Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China. Seattle: U of Washington, 1997.

Palmer, James. "The Uighurs, China's Embattled Muslim Minority, Are Still Seeking an Identity." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 30 June 2015.Print.

Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the UN. "Terrorist Activities Perpetrated by "Eastern Turkistan" Organizations and Their Links with Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban." Terrorist Activities Perpetrated by "Eastern Turkistan" Organizations and Their Links with Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. N.p., 29 Nov. 2001. Web. 30 June 2015.

Poston, Dudley, Wadha Saeed Khamis Alnuaimi, and Li Zhang. “The Social Demography of China’s Muslims.” Modern China Studies 18.1 (2011): 14-71.Ebsco.com.Web.2 Apr.2015.

Ruggeri, Amanda. "Beijing's Unexpected Muslim Enclave." BBC News. N.p., 20 Oct.2014. Web. 29 June 2015.

"Uighurs and China's Xinjiang Region." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on ForeignRelations, 29 May 2012. Web. 30 June 2015.

"Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization." UNPO: Cultural Policy in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (East Turkestan). N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2015.

"Urumqi Attack Kills 31 in China's Xinjiang Region." BBC News. N.p., 23 May 2014.Web. 29 June 2015.

Wong, Edward. "China Invests in Region Rich in Oil, Coal and Also Strife." The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Dec. 2014. Web. 30 June 2015.

Yongzheng, Qiu. "Turkey's Ambiguous Policies Help Terrorists Join IS Jihadist Group: Analyst." Global Times. N.p., 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 30 June 2015.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.