Smith Finley, J. (2007). Chinese oppression in Xinjiang, Middle Eastern conflicts and global Islamic solidarities among the Uyghurs. Journal of Contemporary China, 16(53), 627-654. Link
Individuals in Xinjiang are not merely passive recipients of state representations and policies; they are also agents capable of finding subtle means of self-representation. These symbolic oppositions are necessarily fluid: they emerge, adapt and disappear in response to the changing political environment. Currently, some individuals are demonstrating symbolic resistance to the state through the vehicle of Islam itself: a return to the mosque and orthodox religious practice. This article explores the nature and source of the current Islamic renewal in Xinjiang, conceived (though not exclusively) as a vehicle of symbolic opposition to perceived Muslim oppression at national and global levels. In discussing the international dimension, I explore the role played by imported Islamic materials, pilgrimage, study abroad, and, above all, the national and global mass media.