China Extending Tibet Policies To Muslims in Uyghur

China extending Tibet policies to Muslims in Uyghur. Going by the recent oppression in the restive province Xinjiang, it appears that China is now extending the policies it has used in Tibet to Uyghur Muslims.

China has been denying basic liberty and freedom of expression. In fact there is not even a semblance of  Tibet. The Chinese have resorted to changing the demographics of Tibet and have not allowed Tibetan culture to flourish in the same way that it has over the past several thousand years.

Chinese Communist Party does not have a favorable disposition towards religion and hence the Tibetans have not been allowed to practice their religious beliefs in the way their ancestors used to.  The Chinese have been interfering in their religious practices and traditions in a very uncalled for kind of ways.

Most recently, Chinese experts have said that the next Dalai Lama should be from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s home province Qinghai. This is clearly an outright violation of Tibetan’s cultural and religious rights and makes a blatant mockery of ‘autonomy’ of Tibet.

It appears that China is now extending the same policies to its restive province of Xinjiang. Xinjiang is home to Uyghur Muslims who share a similarity of culture and language with their Central Asian neighbors like Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan etc.

In 2014, the Chinese authorities had asked the Muslim students to not observe the fast in the month of Ramadan, a month of fasting in Islam. Like Tibet, the percentage of Han Chinese has increased in the past few decades.

Like Tibet Xinjiang is also has reserves of many minerals. The Chinese have been exploiting the region’s rich resources but the locals have not really benefitted from it.

The Chinese authorities have put to use the same oppressive policies with Uyghurs like they have been doing with Tibet. But what warrants attention here is the scale of oppression. Everything that they have done in Tibet is magnified here.

Understandably, the Uyghur nationalist led by Rabia Kadeer, a wealthy businesswoman have begun to protest violently. The Uyghurs have also carried out attacks against the Han Chinese. They have also targeted people at Railway stations and other crowded places. Most recently a group of Uyghur dissenters who pledge allegiance to The Islamic State have vowed to stage attacks against China.

China must learn that dissent cannot be countered by oppression rather acknowledging the rights of the people and acting in larger interest of the people and not ill-perceived national interests.

Sachin Diwaker

An engineering graduate, he likes exploring different cultures. He believes that words have the power to transcend eras and remain relevant as a treasure of humanity.

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