Chinese society is a closed society. Chinese state is the very definition of a surveillance state. In spite of having control over nearly 1.4 billion people, Chinese Communist Party is finding it hard to control radical Islamism. Even cornering them into concentration camps does not seem to be solving the problem. In fact, it has further exacerbated the problem. That’s why China is down to treating Islam as every second product it can reverse engineer with its own fineprint. And, the Chinese version of Islam is one of the main reverse-engineered products pushed by Xi Jinping.
Chinese variant of Islam
Recently we had reported that Xi Jinping had gone missing. The Chinese President was finally seen and to everyone’s surprise, Xi Jinping was seen in Xinjiang province of the country. His tour has been described as “inspection tour” which lasted for 4 days. In Xinjiang, Jinping asserted that if Islam in China has to intermix with the Han Chinese, then it must be Chinese in origin, whatever does that mean.
Xi believes that compatibility of Islam and China is possible only when Chinese officials stick to Marxist view of religion. Outlining the future roadmap, Xi said, “We must train a team of Party and government officials who are adept at the Marxist view on religion, familiar with religious affairs and competent to engage in related work, foster a group of religious figures who are politically reliable, have noble characters and religious accomplishments and can play their role at critical times, and foster a group of religious researchers who have a firm political stand and good academic achievements, stick to the Marxist view on religion and be good at innovation. We must ensure that reasonable demands of religious believers be met and rally them around the Party and the government,…”
Disagreement led to detention
There is a similarity between Communism and Islam. Followers of both do not believe much in the western idea of nation state. No matter where they live, both of them have different ideas of ultimate supreme authority. This is where the conflict started to take place in China. While Chinese state explicitly did not force Muslims to follow Marx, it did ask them to follow different variations of Marxism, especially the one propounded by Mao.
But, no matter how much they accede to existing state’s demands, Muslims can’t make Xi Jinping happy. Additionally, Chinese state also wanted to utilise Muslims in their work force. As a result of it, they started to detain them in concentration camps. According to varying estimates, more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic minorities have been detained by Xi Jinping administration. Reports suggest that they have been subjected to inhuman torture by the Chinese authorities.
ETIM is existential threat to China
The voice of rebels is also there. Chinese state is constantly facing separatism threats from various local organisations. These groups want a separate country carved out of Chinese territory. Its name will be East Turkmenistan. In their utopia, this country will only comprise Muslims facing persecution in China and other places in the neighbourhood. China has labelled most of them as terrorist organisation. One of them is East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). The violent group was supported by Donald Trump since he wanted to curb the power of China. In fact, the group is actively supported by terrorists organisations like Taliban and ISIS.
Currently, Taliban is a close ally of China. The Afghanistan China border is extremely porous and there are chances of terrorist activities in Afghanistan spilling over in China. This is exactly what Xi Jinping is scared of and that is why he is trying to mould Islam. But, it is not possible. Islam is highly centralised religion and any attempt to tinker with its fundamental structure will be met with counter force of ferocious intensity. It’s already happening.
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