Chinese Oppression in Xinjiang, Middle Eastern Conflicts and Global Islamic Solidarities among the Uyghurs

Smith Finley, J. (2007). Chinese oppression in Xinjiang, Middle Eastern conflicts and global Islamic solidarities among the Uyghurs. Journal of Contemporary China16(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.


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