Friday 4 January 2019

“China’s gulag for Muslims” | NYT

"Why don't Muslim governments rise up in anger?" asks Mustafa Akyol, of China's jailing one million Xinjiang Muslims in internment camps. Gulags in all but name. 
And why, one might add, don't the preening, the perpetually offended in the West rise up in anger? Or the anguished supporters of veiling women? Or the "Islamophobia" worriers? Where are they? Isn't this mass incarceration rather more important? 

Akyol gives three answers about the silence of Muslim governments:
1.  China's money. Mucho money for keeping quiet. 
2.  China's dictatorship: Muslims understand the language of repression: vide their own governments. 
3.  China is part of the anti-West alliance, with Islam in the fold. Confucius-Muhammad vs Aristotle-Locke. 
Still, this is a blight on China. Specifically it's a blight on its leader the brutal Xi Jinping. 
Akyol concludes: "in freedom [the west] you can live as a Muslim in safety and dignity. Under a dictatorship, as China shows us, you can end up in a re-education camp".

LATER: I'm remembering a night in Shanghai, maybe 20 years ago, or so...
When I bumped into a group of Uygurs, in the Peace Hotel.  Four of five. We had some drinks. Then some more drinks. They like a drink, even if Muhammad says they shouldn't (actually, he doesn't really say that; read the Koran).  So, we have a few drinks then a few more and they start putting the cans into a kind of Arc de Triomphe on the table.
What are we speaking?  Well, they didn't speak English and I don't speak Uighur, so we spoke the only language had in common: Mandarin Chinese.  Only thing being that they didn't speak it very well. Gutteral and inflected with their tongue.  And between spitting sessions.
And between chain-smoked cigarettes. Still, I understood.  The main guy said to me, late on in the evening: "you know", he said, "you are more Chinese than me".   "What do you mean?".  "Well", he said, "you speak Mandarin better than I do" and, he went on "your nose is more Chinese than mine". I looked at his nose, long, aquiline, romanesque.  Mine is hardly a button, but he was right on that, his nose was way more un-Chinese than mine.  "And also", he said, "you have the beard of a Chinese".  Sure, again, he was bristly, hirsute, and I've always struggled the few times I've tried a beard.
So there, I recall that little late night, drunken talk with a Uygur, in Shanghai, as he bemoaned being ruled by the Han. I felt sorry for him then.  I'm wasn't so sure in later decades.  Would he really be better in one of the Muslim states in the region?  But now?

"China's gulag for Muslims"