Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Chinese Jihad

The threat of Islamic fundamentalism is being felt everywhere--including, now, in China, where a once-peaceful Islamic minority is being radicalized.

"Muslim Conflict Now Hits China as 148 Die in Ethnic Violence," Damien McElroy, Daily Telegraph, November 14

"Unlike China's other sizeable Muslim minority, the Uighurs of western Xinjiang, the Hui have never been involved in separatist violence. Now, however, they are becoming increasingly militant in asserting their Islamic identity - partly to prevent their assimilation into the rest of the population, 93 per cent of whom are Han.... Perhaps ominously, the mosque leaders appear sympathetic to the insurgents in Iraq. The mosque's Ramadan letter declares: 'In our Muslim world, our brothers are suffering a great disaster. Their actions in self-defence have been judged to be extremist terrorism, but they are struggling in an imperialist war that is killing people and rotting modern civilisation.' The defiant mood in Iraq is apparently shared by mosque elders, a foretaste of further problems
ahead for the Chinese authorities. 'If our brothers are being attacked,' said one elder, Lao Mai, 'it is a duty in our religion to join them in the fight.' "