China Struggles With Muslim Minority

A fundamental belief of the Chinese government has been the arrival of communism to their nation has ended historic rivalries and disputes. Of course, reality is China continues having ethnic and religious minorities who struggle to assert their views in a society which does not allow dissent. During the past year in the western province of Xinjiang, Muslim dissidents have begun to resort to violence in their fight to break away from China. A reporter for the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, talked with Muslim residents in the village of Langar. They emphasized it was discrimination against the practice of the Muslim religion which has led to recent outbreaks of violence. A sign above the entrance to a mosque in the village reads: “No admittance to anyone under 18 years of age” which reflects attempts by authorities to wean young Muslims away from their faith.

Yasim Karim, an imam, told the reporter he was required to attend Communist party meeting which conducted education programs for people like him in order to indoctrinate them into communist belief. Obviously, such policies have failed. A few weeks ago in Kashgar two men drove a truck into police and killed sixteen as part of the Muslim rebellion against the government. The province has enormous sources of oil and natural gas which makes unlikely any desire on the part of the government to allow dissent or thoughts of separatism. In the past, terrorists targeted buses and civilians, but they apparently are shifting to attacks on police and military personnel.

Separatists are not going to drive out Chinese communist forces. It is a race against time in which the Chinese are attempting to wipe out local customs and traditions in order to end dreams of a separate nation. Most probably, history is on the side of the Chinese government.

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