Tuesday, September 23, 2008

China Is The Answer of Religious Terrorism

September 08, 2008
China Is The answer of Islam (terrorists) aggression
Source: AFP , BEIJING Saturday, Sep 06, 2008,
September 9, 2008 The New York TimesBy EDWARD WONG BEIJING —

Agence France Presse – English BYLINE: Robert J. SaigetDATELINE: BEIJING, Sept 5 2008 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific – Political August 29, 2008 Friday

If moderate and civilised muslims do not curb the Islam terrorism and extremism then they will suffer a lot in future. It is their own problem they are saving update. Because no peaceful country can allow barbaric attacks, like bombings and killings. And their ‘making castle in the air’ a utopian dream would never come true. Every corner of this globe today know the dark side of Islam. They fear the religion because of a few radical segments who are going on in a killing spree and at large. They have witnessed no Muslim organization has put considerable resistance against these maladies of global terrorism and extremism. The history of Islam started with shedding blood, killing people till date it continues. The impression is going worse to worst. It should be stopped.


Three weeks ago the World Uyghur Congress claimed that a "Strike Hard" campaign was being planned for Xinjiang after the Olympics, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
They include barring teachers and students from observing Ramadan, prohibiting retired government officials from entering mosques and requiring men to shave off beards and women to doff veils. Mosques cannot let people from outside of town stay overnight and restaurants must maintain normal hours of business. Many restaurants close in daytime hours during Ramadan because of the sunrise-to-sunset fasting.
In Xinhe County, the government has decreed that Communist Party members, civil servants and retired officials must not observe Ramadan, enter mosques or take part in any religious activities during the month. Worshippers cannot make pilgrimages to tombs, so as to “to avoid any group event that might harm social stability,” according to the Xinhe government’s Web site....
websites belonging to several Xinjiang counties. From the sites:
Faced with recent violent and disruptive activities by religious extremists, separatists and terrorists, we must step up ideological education of religious leaders and followers...We must timely warn and stop religious believers from organizing and planning large scale prayer groups and prevent any large crowd incidents that could harm social stability...For those that maintain beards and for the women who wear veils, we should take all effective measures to have them shave their beards and take off their veils.
I've heard rumors from Uyghurs in the past of just these sorts of schemes... free lunches and alcohol for Muslims during Ramadan, that sort of thing. And government workers have been banned from religious activities for quite some time.
Still, it seems that the effort to weaken Uyghur religious identity is stronger this year and better coordinated.
The NYT article points out that Muslim extremists have a long history of attacks during Ramadan (although not in Xinjiang). Supposedly you get extra martyrdom points and hotter virgins in heaven. But there's no evidence that recent violence has been tied to religious zeal rather than plain old anti-Han sentiments.
By putting the screws to Ramadan like this, a long-simmering conflict that's mainly been about cultural and ethnic tension could quickly develop deeper theological roots.

China warns of ban on mass prayers during Ramadan
“We must warn and stop religious believers from organizing and planning large scale prayer groups and prevent any large crowd incidents that could harm social stability.”
— notice on Xinhe County’s Web site
Authorities in China’s Muslim-populated far northwest are seeking to prevent mass prayers and the distribution of religious material as part of a security crackdown for Ramadan, government notices said.
A series of attacks on police in Xinjiang around last month’s Beijing Olympic Games left more than 20 officers and security guards dead, and at least as many attackers killed or arrested, in the biggest unrest there in years. As the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began, local governments this week issued orders to clamp down on security in the region and stop its ethnic Muslim Uighur population from using the holy month to foment further unrest.“Faced with recent violent and disruptive activities by religious extremists, separatists and terrorists, we must … step up ideological education of religious leaders and followers,” a notice posted on Xinjiang’s Zhaosu County Web site said.
The county government prohibited government officials, Communist Party members, teachers and students from observing Ramadan, while warning that “any person caught forcing another to observe Ramadan” would be punished.“We must warn and stop religious believers from organizing and planning large scale prayer groups and prevent any large crowd incidents that could harm social stability,” said a notice on the Xinhe County Web site.In Shaya County, patrols were stepped up around mosques and leading officials were urged to remain vigilant around the clock for any incidents that could result in social instability.“The handing out of religious propaganda in public places by any work unit or individual is banned,” the Shaya government said.“We must strictly prohibit the playing of any audio-visual tapes, loud speaker announcements and religious drum rituals that could disrupt the Ramadan festival,” it said.Xinjiang is a vast desert region bordering Central Asia that is home to 8.3 million Uighurs, many of whom say they have suffered decades of political and religious repression under Chinese rule. Ramadan Curbs Imposed in China
The local governments administer areas in the western part of Xinjiang, a vast autonomous region that is home to the Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic people who often chafe under rule by the ethnic Han Chinese. In August, a wave of attacks swept through Xinjiang, the largest surge of violence in the region in years. Some local officials blamed the instability on separatist groups, and the central government dispatched security forces to the area.
The limits on religious practices put in place by local governments appear to be part of the broader security crackdown. The areas affected by the new rules are near Kuqa, a town struck by multiple bombings on Aug. 10.

Children and students cannot be forced to attend religious activities, and women cannot be forced to wear veils.
County rules also stress the need to maintain a strict watch over migrant workers and visitors from outside. Companies and families who have workers or visitors from outside the county are required to register the outsiders with the nearest police station and have the outsiders sign an agreement “on maintaining social stability.”
Some of those rules are similar to ones implemented in Beijing right before the Olympic Games began in early August.
Shayar County, which includes the town of Yingmaili, said on its Web site that migrants must register with the police, and that any missionary work by outsiders is banned. China is wary of missionaries doing any kind of work in the country.
The city of Artux is also preventing its teachers and students from observing Ramadan. As a result, schools have to keep serving food and water, city authorities said. As with the other governments, the overall goal is “to maintain social stability during Ramadan.”
In some parts of the world, militants see Ramadan as a good time to carry out attacks because they believe achieving martyrdom during the holy fasting month is an especially sacred act.
China imposes Ramadan security crackdown in Muslim northwestThe county government prohibited government officials, Communist Party members, teachers and students from observing Ramadan, while warning that "any person caught forcing another to observe Ramadan" would be punished.
"The handing out of religious propaganda in public places by any work unit or individual is banned," the Shaya government said.
"We must strictly prohibit the playing of any audio-visual tapes, loud speaker announcements and religious drum rituals that could disrupt the Ramadan festival."
Xinhe and Shaya are near Kuqa city where up to 10 alleged Muslim attackers were reportedly killed after assaulting a local police station on August 10.
The Uighurs established two short-lived East Turkestan republics in Xinjiang in the 1930s and 1940s, when Chinese central government control was weakened by civil war and Japanese invasion.
Phelim Kyne, a Hong Kong-based researcher for Human Rights Watch, said the postings on the government websites appeared to be the first time that such hardline religious control measures had been openly and publicly disclosed.
"To publicly restrict Uighurs from observing the Ramadan fast is a serious act trampling on the religious faithful," the German-based Raxit said in a statement.
"At the same time this is only going to intensify the conflict (in Xinjiang)."

Most of you probably know that the violence has continued out in Xinjiang even after the Olympics
Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behaviour of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups... In times of war and armed conflict, collective punishment has resulted in atrocities, and is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions. Historically, occupying powers have used collective punishment to retaliate against and deter attacks on their forces by resistance movements.
Which is why the purported implementation of a "10-household mutually insured system" in parts of Xinjiang to deter further terrorist attacks is so troubling. Say what you will about the Fragrant Concubine or thousands of years of Han involvement on the fringes of Central Asia, but collective punishment is the tool of a government that doesn't feel at home within its own borders.
From the HK Information Centre for Human Rights:
The "10-household mutually insured system" is being implemented in Kashi [AKA Kashgar or Keshen] and Hotan prefectures. In other words, if one person is found guilty, he will implicate members of 10 families. Those family members will be penalized in many respects, including their job opportunity and their children's education opportunity. In Urumqi, each apartment building has a "building chief" charged with the responsibility of strictly controlling outsiders from moving into the building.
The move is part of plan to do a "carpet search" of Xinjiang for terrorists ahead of National Day on October 1, with 200,000 police officers and militia troops sweeping through the transient Uyghur population in "all mobile lodges, rental apartments and remote villages."
Xinjiang is also recruiting to dramatically expand the number of anti-terrorist special forces in the region, from 2,000 to 3,000...looks like it's going to be an interesting few months (or years) out west.
The report also notes that fear of terrorism, especially bombings on public transportation, has finally reached Beijing... although I wouldn't quite say the heightened sense of alert is anything near what you would find in New York, or, say London.
I was on the subway just a few days ago when I mentioned to the person next to me that there didn't seem to be anybody watching a pile of bags obviously belonging to migrant workers near the doors. "Aren't you afraid of terrorists?" I asked him. "No," he said, "the security in the subway is superb."
Of course, we didn't blow up in the end, but that's beside the point. What was the point again? Oh, right... collective punishment.

China conducts "carpet search" for Xinjiang terror suspects - HK centre
Text of report by Hong Kong Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy on 27 August
[Report: "200,000 Military Police Conduct Carpet Search for Terrorist Suspects To Prevent Terrorist Strikes During the 1 October Period"]
Aug 27, 2008 - Our centre learned that, to prevent terrorist strikes from developing into another upsurge during the time when the nation marks the October 1 National Day, Xinjiang is currently mobilizing 200,000 officers and men of the public security force, the Armed Police Force and militia force to undertake a carpet search among the transient population. Some areas have even reinstated feudal society's 10-household mutually insured system - a system under which people of 10 families were liable to punishment when one person in the families was found to have committed an offence. Meanwhile, Xinjiang's "Antiterrorist Special Reconnaissance Force" is expanding its size through an urgent recruitment campaign. The force, which has 2,000 people now, will soon become a force with 3,000 people.
Our centre also learned that the dragnet-type screening of people suspected to be terrorists - a 23 August-20 September campaign the Xinjiang Law Enforcement Commission mapped out on 18 August - will be extended to 1 October and beyond. This is because more and more information shows that the "East Turkestan [Liberation Organization]" may create another wave of terrorist strikes around 1 October. The 200,000 officers and men of Xinjiang's public security force, Armed Police Force and militia force are now checking and registering the floating population and "key elements subject to control" in all mobile lodges, rental apartments and remote villages. The region has also set up additional checkpoints at important road sections between townships and between villages. The "10-household mutually insured system" is being implemented in Kashi [AKA Kashgar or Keshen] and Hotan prefectures. In other words, if one person is found guilty, he will implicate members of 10 families. Those family members will be penalized in many respects, including their job opportunity and their children's education opportunity. In Urumqi, each apartment building has a "building chief" charged with the responsibility of strictly controlling outsiders from moving into the building.
Meanwhile, Xinjiang's "Antiterrorist Special Reconnaissance Force" is urgently expanding its size. Aside from having a technical investigative detachment that owns the most advanced technological equipment, the special Armed Police Force that operates as a force under Section 16 of the Xinjiang Public Security Department, also has detachments in Urumqi, Kashi, Hotan, Ili and Aksu prefectures. Owing to the job's high risks, this 2,000-man special Armed Police Force always has problems recruiting new people. During its current enlarged recruitment campaign, the force has promised new recruits with higher pay and subsidies and special arrangements for them when they retire.
One of the tremendous changes that the Beijing Olympics have brought to the Chinese people's psyche is the fear of "terrorist bombings." During the Olympic period, most of the bus passengers, after they boarded onto a bus, would invariably look carefully around. If somebody has left a satchel or handbag on a bus or at an eatery, somebody would immediately inform the police to send a bomb expert to handle the situation. It is expected that bus passengers will do the same during the 1 October period. China will mark what it calls the 50th national founding anniversary on 1 October next year. It is for certain that there will be numerous security personnel on Beijing buses.Source: Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, Hong Kong, in Chinese 27 Aug 08

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