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Trouble in paradise! Effects on Sino-Pak relation?

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    Trouble in paradise! Effects on Sino-Pak relation?

    Religious clashes shatter China's Muslims
    MENGCUN COUNTY, China: The body of Wang Chunping bore the marks of the terrible last few minutes of his life, before the 33-year-old Muslim farmer fell victim to an explosion of religious strife in this small corner of rural China.

    Two small holes are traces of the lethal bullets, and when his killers tied a wire around his neck to drag his body along the ground, they left a thin violet mark. Across the front of his torso is a 25-centimetre (10-inch) knife cut.

    "They pulled out his guts through that hole," said one of Wang's grieving relatives as they prepared the body for a traditional Islamic funeral.

    Mengcun is a county of about 160,000 people in Hebei province, only three and a half hours by train from Beijing, where Han Chinese and members of the Muslim Hui community have lived in harmony for decades and where inter-marriage has been common.

    Last week people in the small farm villages scattered throughout the wintry brown-and-grey landscape were hit by a tragedy that suggests religious tension lingers just below the surface and can suddenly and violently break out into the open.

    On Tuesday, as many as 2,000 Muslims from Mengcun county set out in cars and tractors on a 60-kilometre ride to Yangxin county in neighbouring Shandong province to support their Islamic brethren in a three-month confrontation with non-Muslims.

    Members of Shandong's paramilitary People's Armed Police knew they were coming and had set up three roadblocks on the route.

    They let the Muslims through the first roadblock but at the second, they opened fire, killing six and wounding more than 40, witnesses say.

    Locals claimed not all of those shot died from their gun wounds.

    "They took my father into a police car and beat him over the face with a metal bar," said a teenage boy in Niujin village, breaking into tears.

    The authorities have repeatedly denied any incident took place, and an AFP reporter was detained in Mengcun on Saturday for interviewing locals. His notebooks and film were confiscated, and he was driven under guard to Beijing.

    Tuesday's shooting incident was the violent culmination of tensions in Yangxin that have been building up since early fall.

    In September, a Han Chinese shop owner in Yangxin's Heliu village, in what appears to be a deliberate taunt, started advertising the sale of "Islamic pork."

    As Muslims protested, and as officials allowed tensions to boil over, both the shopowner and another Han Chinese were killed, according to a Yangxin resident.

    Shandong authorities arrested three Muslims and have now cordoned off the Yangxin area, said the resident, a Muslim, who secretly managed to go to Mengcun to mourn with his fellow believers.

    Thousands of people, mostly from Mengcun county, gathered in Dongchaohe village on Saturday, when Wang Chunping's coffin was carried through narrow alleys to a burial ground outside the hamlet.

    The crowds were disciplined, kept in order by a charismatic 33-year-old cleric, who, equipped with a loudspeaker, performed the ceremony.

    As communities around Mengcun county buried their dead this week, official security tightened.

    Uniformed police maintained a low profile, staying inside their cars at a distance from large crowds, while plain-clothes officers mingled with the mourners, some taking photos.

    Ethnic tension is one of the Chinese government's most formidable challenges, and although the minorities make up just eight per cent of the population, they inhabit 60 per cent of the mainland, especially the west.

    The Huis, descendants of Arab and Persian traders who settled down from the 7th century onwards, are represented in most parts of China, but are among the most assimilated and are virtually indistinguishable from the Hans.

    Scenes in Mengcun county this week could suggest the emergence of a more assertive kind of Islam.

    "Never forget the heroes of our people," said a white banner in Dongchaohe village.

    Some of the thousands who paid their last respects to the dead saw them as religious martyrs and had vague, undefined hopes that international Muslim solidarity could somehow help them put things right.

    "We want the world, and especially Muslims abroad, to know what happened," said one mourner.

    Locals said what happens next entirely depends on how the officials respond to their demands that those found responsible for Tuesday's killings be punished.

    "I am confident the authorities will handle this matter in a proper way," said a local cleric. "All we want is to be good Muslims and patriotic citizens at the same time."

    Others -- including a young student of Arabic and the Koran who hopes to one day go on pilgrimage to Mecca -- were not too sure.

    "I can't say I'm too confident the authorities will deal with this incident properly," he said. "If the authorities don't listen, there could be more clashes." (AFP)

    Ah you decided to move from BR to here???
    Also link please.
    And we don't accept most indian rag papers. is the only good source.
    And hello???
    Where did pakistan come into the issue??
    What an idiot!!!

    You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


      Yes in this sourceless article can anybody tell us where PAKISTAN is mentioned?

      And its nice to see some HINDUvta stand up for Muslim rights for a change?


        I am surprised at the friendly gesture by CM and Malik.
        The question is: Pakistan's foreign policy is based on going to defense of opressed Muslims all over the world and China is Pakistan's only friend. How will pakistan react to gross violations of Muslims in China?
        I do not understand why posting this article has drawn such venemous reactions from people who proclaim to be civil and educated.


          Firstly KINDLY explain what you mean by the venom you have received?

          Then, I ask you again where in the WHOLE article there is ONE mention of Pakistan?

          Finally, who told you that Pakistan's OFFICIAL policy was to defend Muslims in every spot of the world? Do you think Muslims everwhere in the world are defenceless and are awaiting Pakistani liberation?


            And since when am i educated???

            You can't fix stupid. So might as well troll them!


              By Barr Seitz
              China is cracking down on its Muslim population in the northwest in response to increased ethnic violence in the area.
              The Beijing government has fired 260 officials in Xinjiang province and halted the construction or renovation of 133 mosques. A beefed up police force moved in to break up classes teaching the Koran — Islam’s holiest book.
              Muslims pray outside a Mosque in Urumqi, the capital of the Muslim region (AP Photo)
              The crackdown is part of an effort to squash Muslim separatists — led by ethnic Uighurs — who threaten the stability of a region the Chinese treasure for its mineral wealth and strategic position.
              The government executed eight Muslims in May for bus bombings in the regional capital, Urumqi, that killed nine people, the latest attack in a violent campaign for independence being waged in China’s hinterland.
              The executions are unlikely to stop the violence. Rumors have been swirling around Urumqi that extremist organizations are offering up to $10,000 for people who will engage in terrorist acts. True or not, they are an indication of the anger and tension among Chinese Muslims.
              The government blames Islamic militancy from abroad for recent unrest in Xinjiang, the northwestern province that borders Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan
              Muslims Don’t See the Money
              Many experts believe the sources of dissent lie closer to home. “This is not Islamic fundamentalism at all. They are fighting for their land, fighting for their rights.”
              —Dolkun Kamberi
              “For the government, it is useful to blame the violence on foreigners and not look at their own home-grown problems,” says John Espisito, director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.
              Those home-grown problems center on resentment that China’s economic juggernaut has left the Uighurs behind. Han Chinese, the dominant and ruling ethnic group in the country, have flooded into the region looking for jobs, and they are finding them.
              Companies attracted by recent oil discoveries are hiring Han Chinese, not Uighurs. “The local people are not benefiting, and they are very angry,” says Dolkun Kamberi, a Uighur archeologist who often travels to the region.
              “The economy is a rising tide that will make all boats rise. But Uighurs do not feel their boat is rising,” says Dru Gladney, a Chinese expert at Hawaii’s East-West Center, an Asian research center. “In fact they are being flooded.”

              China Sees Threats on Its Borders
              Xinjiang is an area where Beijing cannot afford instability. The Chinese army has an estimated 12 army divisions, 6 air bases and most of its nuclear ballistic arsenal posted in the sensitive region, which has a 1,000-mile border with former Soviet republics. “They are paranoid about their border areas,” says James Lilly, a former American ambassador to China.
              And China is more sensitive than ever in the months since the death of paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. “The Muslims in China in general, when there has been a weak central government, have asserted themselves,” says Espisito. Experts do not believe the Uighurs can successfully challenge the crushing might of the Chinese government. But they are well armed and well organized—a source of instability, the one thing the Chinese regime fears more than anything else.
              “It seems like border areas are eroding away,” says Lilly. “And the dynasty crumbles away if the border crumbles.”

              Causes of Uighur Dissent in Xinjiang
              Former Soviet republics Kazakstan, Kyrgystan and Tajikistan are now independent Muslim countries and exert a strong influence on Uighurs.
              Migration of Han Chinese, much of it sponsored by the Beijing government, into the region marginalizes the Uighurs.
              Economic advantage in the region generally benefits the Han who own the companies and get the jobs.
              An Islamic renaissance in the region has led to greater cultural nd ethnic awareness among ore assertive Uighurs.
              The Afghan war has had a radicalizing effect on young Uighurs and arms from the conflict have been smuggled into Xinjiang.
              Nuclear testing has caused health problems and concerns among Uighurs.



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                Chinese authorities try to dampen Muslim unrest

                BEIJING: The authorities were on Monday trying to contain the religious violence rocking a corner of northern China, but resentment was still simmering among the Muslim Hui community, witnesses said. Officials at mosques in the region said on Monday there was deep unhappiness among the Muslim community over the way the authorities handled last week's unrest, which left at least six Muslims dead and scores injured.

                Some 2,000 demonstrators marched through Mengcun county in Hebei province on Sunday before a funeral of one of the victims to demand the authorities address their anger, said an official at Mengcun mosque, who identified himself as Mr. Han. He said the families of each of the six victims had been offered $24,000 each, and that local officials had appealed to the demonstrators not to blow the incident out of proportion.

                He said the Muslim community was drawing up a petition to the government to demand justice. "It's a most reasonable request. Money is not the most important thing. We want dignity for Muslims," said the mosque official. Armed police opened fire on a crowd of up to 2,000 Muslims from Mengcun on December 12 as they made their way towards Yangxin county in neighbouring Shandong province to support fellow Muslims in a three-month feud with the Han Chinese community.

                Witnesses told that some of those who died were savagely beaten by police with metal bars or dragged by the neck along a road. The Muslim community has accused the police of siding with the Han. The violence first erupted in September after a Han Chinese vendor infuriated Muslims in Yangxing by putting up a sign offering 'Islamic pork'.

                The vendor and another Han were killed in violence triggered when Muslims removed the sign, while scores of other people have been injured in clashes over the past two months. The latest flare-up was caused by Han Chinese hanging a pig's head outside the mosque in Yangxin on December 8.

                The provocation, in the middle of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, enraged Muslims around the region. Before the eruption of violence in September Han Chinese and members of the Muslim Hui community have lived in harmony for decades in this region just three hours train ride from Beijing, and inter-marriage has been common.

                Frank Lu, spokesman for the Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, said the central government in Beijing had viewed the violence with alarm. He said 2,000 Communist Party cadres, as well as the Shandong province governor, had been mobilised to go to Hui villages to calm the situation.

                Lu added that news of the shooting and the way the authorities had treated the Muslim community had stirred up the Hui community across the country. "This thing is heating up all over the country. Hui people are very upset about this," he said. The violence has yet to be reported in China's official media, although a government official confirmed to AFP on Monday for the first time that the incident took place after days of denials. The official in Mengcun said five people died.

                "It's still rather chaotic. We don't want anything to happen so we're on 24 hour duty," he said. The Huis, descendants of Arab and Persian traders who settled down from the 7th century onwards, are represented in most parts of China, but are among the most assimilated and are virtually indistinguishable from the Hans.


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                  China is going to expect a rise of such incidents and they will also get reported to a great degree. There are serious concerns as to how China is stopping its muslims from resisting this non-religious stance that China has.

                  There has been considerable back lash in both Christian and Muslim communities and it has been reported considerably, notably in the US.

                  However, there is some speculation with regards to how MUCH is actually happening. As long as Beijing tries to exert influence in Central Asia and undermines US efforts there it is very understandable that reports would be made more frequently and Pakistan would be the prime target for its propogation.

                  There are considerable similarities to this reporting with those land mark articles that sprouted out all over the American and British press when China was considered VICIOUSLY killing Vietnamese.

                  I seem to remember reading many articles that were wirtten in the American Papers regarding the oppression that was being suffered by the Vietnamese community and how basic freedoms that are the "right of all man which our constitution was entrusted to defend not just on our soil but for the greater liberty of mankind itself".

                  I think we are in for a lot more of these reports and should brace ourselves for a rough ride ahead.

                  China is notorious for stamping down revolts and will take an uprising from such areas more seriously than in others.

                  It is also noted that the last times there were widespread agitations in the Western regions of China the OIC sent a delegation and they toured the area, "at China's request" to quell such movements and that was 4 years ago. "Pakistan's clegy were singled out by the OIC and the Chinese authorities".

                  However, no incidents after that. Not untill ofcourse there were staunch words by the Americans and teh Kazakhs when they were being undermined by teh Chinese with regards to their SILK ROAD proposals.

                  How many more to die before the US realises that this is a fight not worth flaming ?


                    i dont think chinese are specifically against
                    islam. they are also craking down on local
                    faiths. they are afraid of any kind of threat to regime.