Old Song, Uighur Muslims Get Discriminated thus Peaceful Demonstration turned Violent


An Uighur woman is hit as she protest against mass arrests since Sunday's Bloody Riot
Photo: News.Sky.com
By Irfan Nugroho
Sunday, July 5th, 2009, 156 people dead and more than 800 others injured as a protest turned violent in the city of Urumqi, China’s restive western region of Xinjiang. Authorities arrested 1,434 people in connection with the Sunday bloody protest.
 
The BBC News reported that the 156 death toll were mostly Han Chinese ethnic brutally attacked by Uighur Muslims, but truly, the majority of those killed were of Uighur Muslim ethnic attacked by the China’s Armed Forces.
 
The Xinjiang government blamed World Uyghur Congress (WUC) based in Munich for orchestrating the bloody protest, but truly, the clashes emerged from mounting ethnic tensions between Uighur Muslims and Han Chinese ethnics actually.
 
Indeed, the protest was the lack of serious pursuit of justice from the Chinese government over the murder of two Uighur workers by Han Chinese at a toy factory in southern Guangdong Province last month.
 
Uighur Muslim ethnic is the largest community in Xinjiang, but the Beijing authorities have given overwhelming privileges to a minority Han Chinese ethnic. Han Chinese migrants take Uighur Muslims’ jobs and autonomy as well as prohibit the teaching in Uighur’s Turkish language, and Islamic practices there.
 
In July 2008, five imams were arrested and sentenced to five years in jail just because of organizing the pilgrimage to Mecca and spreading “illegal” copy of the Quran during the trial processes.
 
At the same time, Aksu authorities destroyed a mosque just because the mosque’s management did not want to display any poster supporting the Beijing Olympic Games. It went on amidst the growing protest from the international world.
 
Several weeks before the Beijing Olympic Games, September 2008, the Chinese government issued a policy of eradicating any Islamic symbol in the province of Henkyanj. Every two days, Chinese officials patrolled the province just to seek any disobedience, and of course, the target was the Muslim.
 
In October 2008 after the Beijing Olympic Games, the Chinese government restricted the Muslim people from practicing Islamic prayers in public places. Private pilgrimage to Mecca was not allowed as well as private teaching of reading the Quran. And worse, those Muslim people working in governmental offices were not allowed to have fasting in the Ramadhan month.
 
Well, China’s Xinjiang has now turned to riot. Following the Sunday bloody protest, today, Tuesday (07/6/2009), about 200 ethnic Uighurs – mostly elderly women or women with children – poured down to street, demanding for release of their relatives that had been arbitrarily arrested.
 
As Uighurs had ceased the protest today, hundreds of Han Chinese marched through the streets of Urumqi, smashing shops and stalls belonging to Uighurs.
 
This is an old song. The majority of Muslim community gets discriminated from the government. In the case of Islam in China, the above facts are hopefully enough to say that China has treated the Uighur Muslim discriminatively.
 
The lack of serious pursuit of justice over the murder of Uighur workers a month ago is the onset of the Sunday bloody protest. The Uighurs’ peaceful protest turned violent and left 156 people dead as police fired indiscriminately on protesters.
 
Here is an account of an Uighur currently living in Vancouver, Canada (taken from the BBC):

I am a Uighur currently living in Vancouver, Canada. My cousin, who is in Urumqi, witnessed the brutal oppression of the Uighur protests by the Chinese.
The Chinese are censoring all the information and trying to cover up the truth. They have blocked most mobile and internet services. So me and my cousin communicated through MSN messenger.
My cousin won't be in Urumqi for too long because he is being pressured by the Chinese to leave the country.
From what he told me, the military oppression of the peaceful protest really is the largest since the Tiananmen crackdown. The Chinese sent out soldiers with machine guns, police vehicles and tanks - yes, tanks! The police fired indiscriminately on the peaceful protesters, and scores of people died as a result.
The Uighurs were angry over ethnic violence last month in the city of Shaoguan in southern Guangdong province, when Han Chinese beat and killed Uighur workers.
Uighur people are in a great need of help and we ask the international community to condemn China's killing of innocent Uighurs, the assimilation of the Uighur people and the discrimination Uighur people suffer by the Chinese.
Uighurs have no freedom whatsoever, living under the strict, brutal rule of communist China.