Uyghur Update: 15th-22nd September

This week I decided to download a bunch of Islamic podcast of various levels of seriousness. I’ve found Mohamed Ghilan to be very calming, See Something Say Something is both wildly hilarious and relatable, Good Muslim Bad Muslim seems interesting/funny but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, and I’ve also been recommended Head On History and ImanWire which I have yet to listen to. Yep, I’ve jumped right on that podcast bandwagon. Anyway.

 

Inside the Uyghur Region

Here’s a video of what I presume to be one of those rallies where the Uyghurs are meant to increase their patriotism. I read 1984 just a few months ago and I don’t see how the situation is any different to the one described in the book. I mean, can we just take another look at this article? Surveillance is happening through technology, through law, through biology. Nothing is sacred when “national stability” is Xi’s obsession. (And the social points system?? I’m pretty sure there is a Black Mirror episode on that? Here’s an example for getting points, and some contradictions).

They also want to use AI to track and predict and prevent terrorism… which this article likens to Minority Report lol. Are people finally seeing how ridiculously post-dystopian fiction China is? Except it is real life, guys. Real people. And it seems like they’re getting help for this technological advancement from… Australia… AUSTRALIA WTF. This is painful to watch.

And we already knew this but WeChat’s come out and said they make all their data available to the Chinese government.

Here is an academic publication on the securitisation strategies China is employing in Tibet and East Turkestan. It’s written by two academics whose Twitters I often link to so I presume they know what they are talking about.

China is continuing to reduce the number of mosques. They’re still denying passports to Tibetans (and I presume Uyghurs and Kazakhs as well).

Here’s an assessment form(?) (or perhaps a section in the cadre exam?) for being a “two-faced” person. In my understanding this means you show an outward appearance of patriotism to China but think differently. Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t know Chinese.

Here’s a tweet which links to a Chinese article that apparently talks about Chinese forces being stationed in Uyghur villages to keep peace. I think I mentioned this last update. God help us. But lol China keeps saying they’re breaking new grounds in their human rights records. Amazing.

More Uyghurs from overseas arrested 😦 

The environment is also being destroyed. Here’s an article I found about the water problem in the Tarim Basin, the deserts, farming – did you know we produced about 10% of the world’s cotton? Anyway, it’s a pretty interesting read.

 

International

Here’s an article showing how China’s influence over Chinese outside of China is growing stronger – an editor for a Chinese paper in Canada was fired after writing a column on Liu Xiaobo. In a similar vein, there has been news of potential influence in New Zealand politics.

China’s also invested $100,000 in UNSW research in some new initiative which… is pretty worrying… I mean UNSW seems alright from the inside but that is still very worrying. I wish Australia would stop relying on China. In addition to the link I had earlier about using AUS research for surveillance inside of China, China is literally building a CITY somewhere between Brisbane and Gold Coast. Like, are you kidding me? There are so many alarm bells going off right now.

There was also an article or two that talked of Myanmar’s situation and China with reference to Uyghurs. And one last article about China’s influence on people in other countries, including Uyghur activists.

USA

This article came out which has gotten all the academics and experts on the Uyghur region exasperated. Some choice quotes: “WTF?!“, “shameful, lazy“, “a deeply naive article at best, and a morally blind one at worst“, and “I don’t think so“. The author isn’t named but this is the bit:

Here’s one thing that is not much talked about: counterterrorism. Mr. Trump worries about the Islamic State, Mr. Xi about Muslim Uighurs in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. Beijing could benefit from American intelligence about militants returning from the Middle East to Xinjiang; Washington would be interested in China’s help in persuading Pakistan to crack down on the Taliban.

Yeah it’s pretty dumb.

 

Activism

A “Keep Taiwan Free” / “UN Membership for Taiwan” rally was held in New York on September 16th. Here’s a video by Rose Tang (a really badass activist I linked to in one of my first updates) on the speech done by Uyghur representative Zubayra Shamseden. Link to a full transcript. This coincided with the 72nd UN General Assembly Meeting. Seems like the Uyghurs met with UN representatives.

The arrested students situation was raised at HRC36. Uyghurs were also represented at the University of North Carolina on the “Under-represented Muslim Panel” held by their MSA chapter. I think it is pretty important to get our Muslim friends on board with our issues, and let them know about Uyghurs. We are very much part of Islamic history and it would be nice to have our allies actually allying with us.

 

Outside of Politics

It’s been a while since this restaurant opened but I just found out they sell Uyghur ice cream which I haven’t seen since I was 7 so that was pretty exciting. Well, I don’t really like ice cream but I felt a lot of second-hand excitement for all the Uyghur fam who really miss that ice cream lol.

I also found out about Anatil TV through this video where we can see Abduweli Ayup (previously imprisoned for teaching Uyghur to preschoolers in East Turkestan) teaching Uyghurche. Might be useful for any Uyghur Mekteps out there.

I talked about the Sufis on the Silk Road: Nawa’i-Music Concert at Asia House Arts in London in a previous update. Here’s a few videos (12, 3) of the event, the first of which includes a link to more info in the description.

And finally, I caved into pressure and agreed to do an interview with RFA. It’s in Uyghurche and I think it will be out in 2 parts (2 parts?? God, why??) next week. I haven’t told anyone because I am pretty sure I said I bunch of crap because I say a lot of nonsense when I am under pressure but oh well. Oh well. I let it go. Let’s hope I get some cool and fun hate mail. My favourite hate comment so far was one that said I brought shame on my parents and called me a liar for saying I was Uyghur because I wrote my article in English… and it was so… sassy… and spiteful… and I cherish that screenshot with my entire being… I think about it when I feel down… it, and the responses to it, were pure comedic gold. Wow.

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