Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses China, jihad, and realpolitik:
There has never been a major terrorist attack in China, though the suppression of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, and their dilution by non-Muslim Han, could both be considered acts more dangerous to Islam than anything the governments of Western Europe have done. Might the absence of a response be explained by the understanding that the Chinese government and people, unlike those in the West, would likely respond to any such attacks in a way that would permanently affect the continued existence of Islam in China?
Historically, in Xinjiang, cries of Jihad, as the Englishwoman and missionary Mildred Cable dryly noted in her wonderful “The Gobi,” could be heard once every 30 years or so. The last major Muslim Jihad in that region was in 1930; it was bloodily suppressed. Foreign visitors to Xinjiang are always impressed by the superior hygiene of the Uighurs; they pay less attention to the unrest that Islamic tenets prompt. The Uighurs have houses that are neat and clean, the Chinese living cheek-by-jowl, per contra, are very unclean and un-neat. And no doubt the Uighurs have a point. But in the larger scheme of things, which from here on out is all that matters, Infidels have to take the side of Infidels, because in the end, alas, local Muslims with any axe to grind will not be immune to the larger message that Al-Jazeera and a thousand other sources of Muslim propaganda, helpfully translated into local languages, is spreading all over the world.
Outsiders sometimes extend to Muslims the same sympathy that they feel for the Tibetans. But the Tibetans make no claim to anyplace but Tibet. It is ironic that the destruction of the lamaseries, and of much of Tibetan culture, unique in the world, should be used to support the claims of Muslims, who are intent not on preserving various unique local cultures, but on extending Islam which, wherever it has gone, has actually worked to destroy the artifacts, and the historic memory, of everything non-Islamic.
One should be able to support an independent Tibet and yet support the suppression of any move by Uighurs for greater independence in Xinjiang. They are different things, that only superficially appear to make the same appeal. One situation involves Islam; the other does not. And that makes, as Robert Frost would put it, all the difference.
By all means support an independent Tibet. Tibet deserves independence. But when it comes to Xinjiang, it might be necessary at least for the short term for Infidels simply swallow any scruples and be on the side of China, even ruthless Communist China, imposing the will of the people of Han on the people of Hui, or something like that.
It is an Us-Them situation. That is what those who wish us Infidels ill are taught to believe, or most of them, and that is the way in turn, Infidels, out of self-preservation, must come to see things.
The Chinese have also had cordial relations with Pakistan. One hopes that the Chinese, whatever their realpolitik calculations, will realize that aiding Pakistan is, in effect, aiding the world of Islam, a world which may seem only to have America, Israel, and a few other places in its sights, but in end, it has all of Asia as well.
And as the tide of Communism recedes, one hopes that fervent Christians, rather than the bearers of da’wa, will flood China with their message.
It is of note that in France and Italy, the communities most hostile to the Muslim immigrants are those of the Asian immigrants. They are at least as conscious of their own histories as are Muslims; yet unlike Muslims, they do not view their neighbors with hostility or hatred. They cause no trouble to anyone; they exhibit no signs of wanting to be other than productive and loyal members of the countries to which they have come. The contrast is stark and is beginning to be noticed, at least in the Corriere della Sera and Le Figaro (the latter has become the most sensible French newspaper, even at times publishing the truth about Islam, and about Iraq as well).
One hopes, finally, that Chinese everywhere remember the murder of 600,000 Chinese (described, of course, as “Communists” and “Communist sympathizers” for Western consumption) by Muslim Indonesians in the 1960s. Few paid attention; it seemed plausible — Chinese, owing their allegiance to Communist China, and so on — but in fact, the attacks were motivated almost entirely by a hatred that, whatever the jealousy over Chinese economic success (though almost all killed were poor peasants), had at its base — as Chinese survivors noted — a large element of religious fanaticism. Somehow, it does not seem to me that the apologetics that some Westerners (especially the most soft-minded of Christian clerics, who long ago lost their old-time religion and replaced it with the Church of Western Abasement and Self-Flagellation)fairly revel in will come quite so easily to Chinese, Christians or not. Ex oriente lux.