The Communist Party has governed China for over fifty years during which time it has cracked down on any opposition group which posed a threat to its dictatorial rule. During this time period, the government encouraged millions of Han Chinese to migrate to western regions which historically were Muslim in nature. It is not surprising eventually a clash arose between the original Uighur Muslim inhabitants and Chinese Han migrants. The past week has witnessed mobs roaming the streets beating and killing those of a different ethnic or religious group. It is not surprising Chinese officials are lost in attempting to understand the feelings, or ideas of Muslim Uighurs. They decided to close mosques in Urumqi only to unleash further protests. Fortunately, common sense crept into the minds of Chinese officials and they relented to allow men to pray.
Uighurs told western reporters “we felt we are being insulted. This is our mosque. But, we are not allowed in, while they let in non-believers.” It is estimated the 23,000 mosques in Xinjiang province is the highest mosque to Muslim ratio in the world.
The question is whether Chinese authorities have learned that allowing people to practice their religion or cultural beliefs only fosters peace and tranquility.