The Muslim world has reacted with silence over the continued persecution of Muslims in the western Xinjiang region where the government has cracked down on any attempt to further goals of Muslims for equality. The vast desert area bordering on central Asia contains more than eight million Muslim members of the ethnic Ughur population. According to the Procuratorial Daily, the Chinese government initially cracked down with severity in months leading up to last summer’s Olympic Games in order to avoid any evidence of dissident behavior in the nation. The paper estimates 1,296 people were arrested on suspicion of endangering state security during the first 11 months of 2008, and over one thousand have been placed on trial. Chinese authorities are trying to strike hard at the three forces of terrorism, separatism, and religious extremism.
The plight of Muslims living in western areas of China has gone relatively unnoticed on the part of the world Muslim press. Perhaps, it is too far away or it could be lack of knowledge which impairs tough minded investigation of Chinese policies toward minorities. Unlike the Tibetans, the Ughurs are not popular with the world press.