And the learned analysts are dumbfounded, bereft of any means of understanding why such a thing would happen. “Chinese Separatists Tied to Norway Bomb Plot,” by Edward Wong in the New York Times, July 9 (thanks to Bill):
BEIJING — The arrests on Thursday of three men in Norway and Germany accused of orchestrating a terrorist bomb plot seemed like another routine raid by a Western government in the continuing campaign against groups linked to Al Qaeda. But one detail stuck out: Norwegian officials said one of the men was a Chinese Uighur, and all three supposedly belonged to a group that advocates separatism in western China.
If the Norwegian officials are right, the bomb plot was a rare instance in which the group, the Turkestan Islamic Party, had tried to carry out an attack in the West that was unrelated to its goal of gaining independence for the restive region of Xinjiang, in China’s hinterlands.
And that indicates yet again that the jihad is a global struggle, with the various “nationalist” struggles of Muslims in various countries as its local theaters. This is something that mystifies the learned analysts, for they see all these local conflicts as discrete nationalist insurgencies that just happen to involve Muslims. In that view, there would be no reason for Muslims involved in a nationalist struggle in China to get involved in any violent activity in Norway. The Times reporter’s apparent surprise and belief that this involvement is newsworthy stems from his mistaken premises about the nature of the conflict in China — and in Norway — as well as his mistaken premises about the nature of Islam and jihad.
Terrorism experts say the plot in Norway indicates that Al Qaeda and the few members of the Turkestan Islamic Party, or TIP, who trained in the tribal areas of Pakistan see some mutual benefit in cooperating. The use of relatively obscure ethnic Uighur recruits could allow Al Qaeda to penetrate more deeply into the West.
For militant Uighurs, taking part in attacks against the West could give them a raison d’Ãªtre at a time when the Chinese government has seemingly defused any chance of a widespread insurgency’s taking root in Xinjiang, despite occasional spasms of violence. Uighurs may also feel alienated by the West given that the United States and most other major nations have largely accepted China’s contention that Uighur separatists are part of a broader threat to stability posed by Islamic fundamentalists.
Alienated. And you know what happens when Muslims get angry. Western governments seem devoted above all to making sure they don’t grow alienated, because when they do, the bombs start going off. The specter of manifestly non-alienated Muslims, such as the Glasgow doctors a year or two ago, engaging in violent jihad activity is yet another inexplicable and surprising phenomenon that leaves the learned analysts mystified.