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The Politics of Muslim Identities in Asia$
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Iulia Lumina

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474466837

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466837.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

‘Turning Sheep into Tigers’: State Securitisation of Islam, Societal Insecurity and Conflict in Xinjiang, China

‘Turning Sheep into Tigers’: State Securitisation of Islam, Societal Insecurity and Conflict in Xinjiang, China

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter 9 ‘Turning Sheep into Tigers’: State Securitisation of Islam, Societal Insecurity and Conflict in Xinjiang, China
Source:
The Politics of Muslim Identities in Asia
Author(s):

Joanne Smith Finley

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466837.003.0010

In Xinjiang, Northwest China, upwards of one million mostly Muslim Turkic and other minority peoples are extra-judicially detained in internment camps for political ‘re-education’, serving long-term prison sentences, or in situations of forced labour. This chapter analyses the contemporary human rights crisis and how the Chinese state came to this policy juncture. Turkic Uyghurs have been disproportionately targeted because of its special status as a peripheral, linguistically and culturally separate people, with a history of two independent states prior to the establishment of the PRC in 1949. While the Chinese government has routinely represented this group as a ‘terrorist’ and ‘extremist’ threat since the onset of the US-led ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWoT) in 2001, in reality it perceives the Uyghurs as a dissident, anti-colonial force which it seeks to suppress by means of state violence and, in the past four years, state terror. The state’s ultimate goal is to protect the territorial integrity of the Chinese nation, shore up CCP regime legitimacy, and stabilise and secure the northwestern frontier for the purpose of achieving the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the global infrastructure development strategy promoting a China-led Eurasian integration that sits at the centre of Xi Jinping’s ‘China Dream’.

Keywords:   Islam, Muslim minorities, Xinjiang, Uygur, China, Islamic revival, Global War on Terror, Human rights, Terrorism, securitisation

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