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Challenging Uyghur Muslim Identity: More Enforcement, Worse Results

Publication: China Brief Volume: 14 Issue: 17September 10, 2014 04:39 PM Age: 26 min
By: Haiyun Ma, I-wei Jennifer Chang

Uyghurs fasting while observing Ramadan. (Credit: Al Jazeera)
Following deadly attacks in Beijing, Kunming and Urumqi over the last year, the Xinjiang government has intensified its efforts to regulate Uyghur religious activities. The provincial government has once again reinforced its ban on Ramadan fasting for Uyghur civil servants and students in 2014, as it has frequently done since at least 2001. Xinjiang has been developing its own policies to discourage Uyghur religious activities and decrease their observance of Islam since 1994, with the promotion of Wang Lequan to provincial Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Secretary. However, these policies have become increasingly counterproductive, as Uyghurs have reinforced their religious identity as a way of resistance, either peacefully or violently.

Ramadan Ban

During this year’s holy month of Ramadan in June and July, the fasting ban focused mainly on Uyghur elites, such as civil servants, Party members and students, as local government agencies, state-run companies and public schools required or encouraged Uyghurs to break their fast by eating during the day. At the beginning of the holy month, ethnic-religious and United Front officials in Hami (Qumul in Uyghur) held meetings on how to strengthen control over fasting during Ramadan (Hami Government, June 30). Leveraging their control over Uyghur Party cadres, local governments provided free meals for lunch, while cadres monitored them for compliance, namely, observing whether the Uyghurs ate their meals and thus broke their fast. Furthermore, these government institutions organized parties and celebrations offering food during the daylight hours throughout Ramadan. For example, the Tarim River Basin Management Bureau celebrated the anniversary of the founding of the CCP by holding a dinner party for its predominantly Uyghur employees on June 28, the first day of Ramadan this year (Tarim Basin Management Bureau, June 30). Similarly, the Pishan County (Guma nahiyisi in Uyghur) Industry and Commerce Bureau held “sincere conversation” meetings to prevent its Uyghur employees from fasting during Ramadan Xinjiang Administrative Bureau for Industry and Commerce, July 3). Additionally, Uyghur business owners were punished if they closed their shops or restaurants during the day, as is customary in many parts of the Muslim world during Ramadan.

Prior Crackdowns

Over the last 20 years, the Xinjiang provincial government has taken a leading role in regulating Chinese Uyghur citizens’ religious activities, especially under hard-line Party Secretary Wang Lequan. This year’s ban on fasting is a first, but rather is a continuation and intensification of long-standing efforts to regulate Islamic practices and identity among Uyghurs. Since the early 1990s, the Xinjiang provincial government has sought to dampen Uyghur observance of Islam by imposing various restrictions on religious activities. The Xinjiang government has instituted a series of laws, regulations and campaigns aimed at restricting Islamic practices and behaviors among Uyghurs, including the aforementioned bans on fasting during Ramadan.

The ascendance of hardliner Wang Lequan to power as Party Secretary in Xinjiang in 1994 was accompanied by targeted attacks against Uyghur Muslim identity, as the local government instituted a series of restrictive policies on religion, directly attacking Islam and focusing on Uyghurs working for the government. In 1991, Wang stated that the major task of his government was to “manage religion and guide it in being subordinate to…unification of the motherland, and the objective of national unity” (Outlook, June 25, 2001, no.26, pp.52-53). In a similar statement in 2002, Wang repeated this stance when he called on his government to “oppose illegal religious activities that use religion to harm the socialist motherland and the people’s interests” (Editorial, Xinjiang Daily, October 13, 2002). Local laws and regulations affecting religion enacted under Wang’s leadership include, but are not limited to: The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Religious Affairs Regulations (effective in 1994), which tightened control over religion; Document 7 (1996) that mandates state leadership over religion; Instructions (1998), which called for cadres to fight against non-governmental religious activities; and the Interim Provisions on Disciplinary Punishments for Party Members and Organs That Violate Political Disciplines in Fighting Separatism and Safeguarding Unity (2000), which directly targeted ethnic Uyghur members of the Chinese Communist Party preventing prayer, Ramadan fasting and religious studies. These measures were aimed at opposing Uyghur separatism and preventing a Central Asian-inspired independence movement following the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Xinjiang appears to have intensified its “anti-terror” campaign. Beijing labeled some Uyghur groups terrorists and justified further crackdowns on Uyghur activities as part of its counter-terrorism efforts. The September 11 attacks came shortly after the Chinese government unveiled its own campaign against the “three evils” of separatism, extremism and terrorism in April of that year. As China supported the U.S. War on Terror internationally, Xinjiang’s local policies towards Uyghurs became more aggressive and restrictive. According to Uyghur rights activists, Uyghur youths were prohibited from entering mosques, which are all state-controlled and administered. Uyghur villagers were also forbidden to pray outside of their village mosques. Local police forcefully removed veils from Uyghur women’s heads and forced Uyghur men to shave their long beards, which caused family and communal anger and conflicts with the local law enforcement offices. Uyghur families were routinely subjected to surprise break-in searches by the local police (“Sacred Rights Defiled, China’s Iron-Fisted Repression of Uyghur Religious Freedom,” The Uyghur Human Rights Project, April 2013, pp.29-72). Unofficial publications of Islamic texts were deemed “pornography” by the Xinjiang government and thus targeted for confiscation and elimination.

In response to increased fear of terrorism, the provincial government discouraged Islam in general and specifically attempted to differentiate local Uyghur religious practices from that of more conservative sects, which it defines as Arab or Wahhabi. The Xinjiang government has officially designated full-body garments for woman and long beards on men as symbols of Wahhabism and the Ghulja city government, among others, have initiated several anti-Wahhabi campaigns (Yining Government, December 15, 2011). In April 2013, the government of Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture launched a training program to teach cadres how to resist the penetration of Wahhabism into Uyghur society (Guancha News, April 21, 2013).

More recently, the Xinjiang government has instituted a unique suite of religious policies aimed at Uyghurs, in contrast to the softer approaches to religion in other provinces of China. In March 2012, Uyghur civil servants and retired teachers were forced to sign agreements that they would not practice Islam (Radio Free Asia, March 21, 2012). More recently, the Xinjiang government issued a special identification card in Xinjiang to control domestic travel.

Further, Xinjiang officials appear to have taken a leading role in the development of policies towards Muslims minorities, especially under the rule of Wang Lequan from 1990s to 2010. These provincial leaders have not only made more efforts to control and confront Islam than China’s national government, but have exported these provocative policies to Muslim-populated neighboring provinces. In November 2009, the Xinjiang government announced a campaign targeting un-official and un-censored Islamic publications, called the “Tianshan Project,” spanning China’s entire northwest region including Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia and Shaanxi (Xinhua, November 21, 2009).

Counter-Productive Results

Since the Xinjiang government has targeted Uyghur religious activities, Uyghurs unhappy with government restrictions on religion are likely to unify behind their Islamic identity, which serves as a political symbol of anti-Chinese resistance. As recent violent attacks indicate, the repressive religious policies have led Uyghur attackers to aggressively assert their Islamic religion by using religious symbols in their recent attacks, likely in the hopes of mobilizing their fellows Uyghurs to resist Xinjiang’s repressive religious policies. According to Chinese media, perpetrators of major attacks at Tiananmen Square and the Kunming railway station carried Shahada-bearing flags, a symbol of Islamic faith not previously seen during violent incidents involving Uyghurs. Xinjiang’s repressive policies towards Uyghur religion have produced counter-productive results for the government by contributing to the political and social alienation of elite Ughurs, religious revitalization among secular Uyghurs, and even radicalization of some Uyghurs.

These events appear to reflect a growing trend of Uyghur resistance that is likely exacerbated by current Xinjiang local provincial policies. More importantly, since Uyghur cadres bear the brunt of the religious regulations, they are forced to choose between their religious identity as Muslims and their occupation as CCP officials. This complicates their role as a bridge between the atheist CCP and the larger Uyghur population. The restrictions on religious expression among Uyghur elites have pushed them far from the state and closer to their own group, which will likely further polarize Xinjiang societal relations between the Uyghurs and the Han.

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张海洋七答新疆:学习锡伯族好榜样

2014年5月13日,由凤凰网自由谈沙龙发起,中国人民大学人类学研究所主办的“民族问题的问题”研讨会成功举办,此次会议旨在试图探索理解和解决民族问题的新思维。本文是凤凰网大学问栏目整理张海洋的发言,感谢主办方授权发表。

时间:2014年5月13日

发言人: 张海洋中央民族大学教授,博士生导师,中央民族大学中国少数民族研究中心主任

凤凰网:新疆传统社会是否存在现代化的困惑?

张海洋:这个困惑到处都会有,不必讨论。关键是我们面对这个困惑,在解决方式上不能太霸道,不要不懂装懂,不舒服装舒服,具体讲就是让各民族能做些自主选择。过去洋人压汉人搞现代化,用坚船利炮赶我们“进天堂”,我们不舒服,现在我们用民生加维稳的“胡萝卜”和“大棒”逼迫别人过好日子也是不对。

凤凰网:维吾尔族的民族文化认同困难,寻找土耳其语、伊斯兰教的动因?

张海洋:我认为人首先是文化动物,其次是地域动物,然后才是国家动物。中国长城以北和红军长征线以西的边疆边区,历史上和现实中都有丰富文化,汉语在其中本来不占什么优势,特别是在艺术、哲学和宗教方面。比如甘肃敦煌还不算很深的边疆,语言文字就已经很多。维吾尔所属的“突厥语族”根源本来是在中国。它吸收的波斯文化和伊斯兰教,现在也是中国的优秀民族文化。维吾尔族人口上千万,在中亚就是一个国家的规模。只是在人口更多的中国,它才成了一个少数民族。

历史上,维吾尔人在整个突厥世界里面,跟土耳其是东西两座“双峰”。维吾尔在文化方面有比土耳其高的地方,没有比它低的地方。在伊斯兰世界里,它跟波斯即现在的伊朗也是东西两座“双峰”,喀什在信仰伊斯兰教、生产伊斯兰教经典文献和诗歌、词典的创作方面,比西面也是不低。在中亚地区,更应该说是首屈一指的。

有些人认为维吾尔人不学汉语就没有出路,事实上周边用突厥语的巴基斯坦和土耳其(编者注:巴基斯坦可自产核武,土耳其为北约共有核武器国家,是否可独立制造核武器尚存疑),都能做出原子弹。你现在说非得用汉语才是先进,这对它就是睁着眼撒谎。你让他怎么服你?

还有历史,中国的历史本来就很丰富,但用汉人王朝的历史,你就只能说明东面沿海这一块地方。西部边疆地方,你就是要多用满、蒙、维、藏的语言文字才能说得更全面。现在主流社会不鼓励各民族自己编写历史,怕他们把族源的根子追到国境外面去。这是“南京南库” (编者注:张海洋讲南京国民政府的思想源流简称为“南库”,与北京北洋政府的思想源流“北库”相对)“小中华”的思路。其实你换用唐、元、清的思路,再用上“新丝绸之路”的思路,少数民族的历史文化追得再远,也不过就是我们正要拓展的“欧亚新丝路”包括“西南丝路”和“草原丝路”和“海上丝路”的范围。这些都是中国各民族祖先去过,子孙后代还要去去的地方。这有什么不好?你非要把大家的脑袋都锁定在中原和东南沿海又有什么好呢?

凤凰网:新疆政治治理对于近20年民族问题起的作用是什么?

张海洋:这个要回答确实有难度,能说得很复杂,也能很简单。复杂是因为民族领域的事情跟整个国家的内政外交密不可分,因而要由国安委来管才能管好;简单是说,它只不过是个观念或信任问题,只要观念能改,事情就能迎刃而解。

从复杂处说起:这个领域事情变坏的起点是上世纪1987-1990那三年。此后世界有过两件大事,世界是苏联解体和美国高调反恐,中国都跟着搭车吃错药。中共十四至十七届代表大会报告里讲民族的事儿,往前比不上十三大报告,往后比不上十八大报告。荣剑说今后10年的中国改革就是接续1980年代,这个观念是非常的深刻和到位。如果再深刻,就要说拨乱反正回归中国共产党的民族政策了。这就是问题的根源。

1911年辛亥革命至今百年,我看出一个“三十年周期律”,那就是头五年相对好,后25年就慢慢地变坏。最后十年一定是最坏,然后就要拨乱反正,顺应国情来个格式化。1949-1954年是中国共产党对国民党倒行逆施的格式化;1979-1984年是新中国对反右、大跃进和文化大革命的格式化。照这个规律,2009-2014年就应该对回归“南京南库”的民族政策和唯GDP主义做格式化。

现在该做的事儿没展开,但也为期不远了。我们前面讲拨乱反正、清算“两个凡是”就是这个意思。中国为什么非要靠这套办法纠正错误,我想这是体制机制或结构使然。用邓小平的话说,社会主义的好处就是能集中精力办大事。平时有小事儿不肯纠正,非要攒成一堆儿,弄得国家过不下去了,才来调整路线清算,跟大扫除一样,非要把那些颠覆国家、侵犯人权的东西清除一次才能把人心收拾回来。

凤凰网:1990年代以来新疆民族问题是严重还是在正常发展了?

张海洋:我觉得少数民族那面很正常,是我们的政策扭曲得太厉害了,愿意“因其疑似构成事端”的人太多了,连民族区域自治都快变成敏感词了。

我知道有人会说,这是境外敌对势力搞我们比以前厉害。这个构不成理由。你是独立国家,境外势力搞你是个常态常量。中国军事亚洲第一,经济世界第二,坐着联合国安全理事会常务理事国的交椅,世界上哪有这么强大的国家天天喊着被人搞的?难道毛泽东那个时候境外敌对势力比现在小吗?问题是你今天为什么就让人搞了,为什么就不能出去搞搞别人?中国维吾尔族这么大,你一个年轻人发一本护照,再放个五万块钱贷款,看他能把中亚搞成什么样?问题是你非要把人圈起来,把护照收回来,在高压锅里搞对口支援和维稳,这才弄得官不聊生、民不堪命。这个在唱“谁最苦谁最累”之前,还真是要想想你是谁为了谁。我觉得好好按照民族区域自治制度搞个“维稳的联产承包责任制”会省事儿些。开国先贤们的脑袋比我们大很多,账也算得清楚很多。

凤凰网:是否是民族区域自治制度造就了一个维吾尔族?

张海洋:这个判断也是无厘头。中国很多学者愿意解构维吾尔族,说国家构建了它,否则它就是沙漠绿洲里的松散人群。这都是些没用的话。难道中国的汉族不是构建出来的?汉族难道会比维吾尔族更同质化更结实?维吾尔族至少在语言宗教的同质性要比汉族高出很多吧?至于民族区域自治,那是国家宪政制度,正经学问人应该考虑循名责实,好好按照建国《共同纲领》、国家《宪法》、《民族区域自治法》和十八大政治报告政治决议坚持和完善。面对这么多法律文件还天天讨论一项基本政治制度的存废,这正是需要国安委出来维稳的“种族革命家心态”。

凤凰网:“两少一宽”和其他优惠政策的效果如何,如何评价?

张海洋:其实这些天网上发了好几篇文章讨论这些内容。这是毛泽东、邓小平的主张,胡耀邦也是萧规曹随,总之是共产党的正确政策,包括干部、教育等方面的优惠政策也都无可厚非。

你要在多民族统一国家里实行单一法律,甚至教学语言都很单一,那你不实行两少一宽和其他优惠政策让少数民族怎么办?我知道很多有“江南心态”、“新加坡情绪”和“新疆汉人心态”的人对此不满。但反过来想,如果这个国家的高考和公务员考试用的都是维吾尔语,藏语、蒙古语,再加上些严打高压措施,然后给你每个汉人补贴300分儿,法院对你也实行两少一宽,你乐意吗?现在你不承认他的习惯法,那就得有这些“正向行动(编者注:在正常情况下,现发生行为,沿正确道德舆论与法律法规及按行为发展的进程去分析,预期能达到正确的行为结果的行为)”。

什么时候国家好好地兑现了民族区域自治,国民教育好好兑现人民币上印的那些语言文字,就业市场好好落实少数民族比例,那这些政策也可以慢慢退场。在此之前,我看不出有更好的办法。

实践操作中需要这些折中,否则国家就维持不了团结和统一了。顺便问一句,大家谁能记得就是在这样“两少一宽”和“优惠政策”的背景下,马戎教师分析“六普”期间的新疆少数民族干部、农业人口和就业人口比例?又有谁敢说现在监狱里维吾尔族人口比例比汉人低了多少呢?那你喊了半天“两少一宽”和优惠政策是不是无的放矢?再说你看当今中国,两少一宽、正向行动affirmative action和民族区域自治,它是不是一个方向,是不是可欲的东西?你自己是不是也缺这个东西?如果是这样,那就先帮助别人实现这些享受,然后你自己也能跟着享受。但现在中国汉人,特别是读书人,脑袋好像进水不少,只知道“不明觉厉”而不肯“见贤思齐”,不是想法儿把自己提升到好的境界上去,而是要把好的拉下来,让它沉沦到自己的境界里。

以前我说学界里面是“犬儒”太多。现在看,大家做犬儒还不过瘾,还非要做到“鹰犬儒”。他闻见说的话不对它的味儿,例如说你讲了目前的民族区域自治还是半张政治白条、一座烂尾楼,因而还需要按照政策法规坚持和完善。他就赶紧给领导打报告,说这不够“喜大普奔”。领导也不肯调查研究,只是喜欢批条子发文件让人研究。

其实我只是说,今后中国在民族区域自治这个问题上面,继续“打白条不兑现”就是封闭僵化的老路,再要“撕白条不认账”,那就是改旗易帜的邪路。只有按照建国《共同纲领》,国家《宪法》,《民族区域自治法》,原原本本地坚持和完善这个制度,那才是中国特色正路。

但鹰犬儒就是把断章取义当学问。民族事务治理领域在实践上因而很难改进。我先前也爱往新疆跑。但2008年以后,就懒得去了,见不得路上到处设卡,查验身份证,弄得跟“非典隔离”的时候一样。如果我生活在新疆,也会觉得很难过。大家遇到困难的时候,本来应该相互信任,相互解放,相互担保,但现在却是相互修防火墙。这个东西修多了,修来修去肯定也会把自己修进去。如果说“各民族平等是立国之本”,那它就伤害了这个“国本”。

现在人们喜欢说新疆从汉代就有军屯,这是历史经验。但从文化生态学上看这条历史经验,我看它也有一条规律:进去的时候是军屯,出来的时候就是当地民族了。从唐朝中后期到1884年清朝建省时的新疆人口民族比例,显示的就是这个理。那么军屯人都去哪儿啦?新疆的锡伯族是不错的榜样,就是好好学习当地语言文化和生态知识,最终变成地方人,让当地人感到你确实是有贡献、受欢迎、离不开。

http://news.ifeng.com/a/20140813/41564410_0.shtml

2aa1479555f0fd1news2014年5月13日,由凤凰网自由谈沙龙发起,中国人民大学人类学研究所主办的“民族问题的问题”研讨会成功举办,此次会议旨在试图探索理解和解决民族问题的新思维。以下是凤凰网大学问栏目整理张海洋的发言,感谢主办方授权发表。

时间:2014年5月13日

发言人:张海洋  中央民族大学教授,博士生导师,中央民族大学中国少数民族研究中心主任

少数民族区域制度:好制度也有坏问题

民族区域自治制度为共和国的建立提供了合法性,是具有超越意识的好制度。问题是这个传统没有很好地坚持下来。

我们民族区域自治制度是中国顺应现实需求创造出来的制度,是共产党跟各民族的政治契约,这个制度是怎么形成的?往古代可追溯到土司制,现代也可追到国民政府1946年那次“老政协”。“老政协”时,南方民族跟北方民族相互呼应,南方的苗彝要跟“五族共和”框架里的大民族争取平等,当时的框架对此就开始有了一些安排,当年张治中在新疆就是用这个安排解决了一些问题。

1949年第一届全国政协,给我们这个共和国的建立提供了合法性。从我阅读过的一些材料来看,这个新政协一开始也没有安排民族方面的制度,但在讨论的过程中,发现民族问题越来越多,以至于《共同纲领》最后篇幅最大的就是民族区域自治。如果再往上追溯,那就要跳过1927年北伐之后南京国民政府的汉人民族国家构建,追溯到北洋政府跟清朝和南方革命政府订下的“五族共和”传统,再往上追溯,就要追溯到大清朝把边疆和内地整合成一体、并相互制约的传统了。

这里需指出一个事实:就是中国人民解放军加紧进军西藏,是毛泽东1950年初从莫斯科用电报发出的命令,这显然跟他向斯大林要不回外蒙古有关。那时候刘、邓、贺龙指挥的西南解放军一举拿下昌都,完全可以像卷席一样打到拉萨去。但是毛泽东非要把解放军按住,非让把藏人的噶厦政府请到北京来,谈一个关于和平解放西藏的《十七点协议》,就是为了增加新中国对西藏主权的合法性。换句话说,包括藏区在内的中国少数民族,都是用各种方式自愿加入新中国的,这当然有继承大清朝的传统。国民党跟边疆少数民族没有订下这个契约,共产党则是有的。所以共产党继承的传统,能跳过国民党南京政府,直接跟北洋和清朝的传统衔接。

问题是这个传统没有很好地坚持下来。

思考民族问题有一个“南库”一个“北库”

目前中国思想界对这个领域的知识和话语很混乱。我推荐一个分析框架,能把事情变得简单些:辛亥革命以来,中国民族领域有一个南方革命会党的传统在国民教育的教科书里传承。这个简称“(南京)南库”;还有一个包括着清朝、北洋和新中国的历史文化大传统,这个简称“(北京)北库”。这个“库”就是思想库的意思。有了这样一个框架,就可知道新中国实行的民族区域自治制度,是一个符合国情的好制度。

当然好制度也有问题,就是这背后的观念还是“古典进化论”,社会发展史的“工具实用论”,而不是文化生态学的“道德本体论”。

当时中国设计出的民族区域自治制度,是超越了当时的时代、具有后现代精神的,也是最合乎真正的共产主义理想境界的。也许因为它境界太高,跟一般的人也说不通,毛泽东、周恩来这些人就只好用老百姓的话,说了个民族之间的“还债论”。记得毛主席还嘱咐解放军代表张经武见到达赖喇嘛要下跪,结果相信阶级斗争的张经武就是跪不下去,最后还是藏人解放军代表平措汪杰做的顶礼,达赖喇嘛跟毛泽东握手言欢。毛主席的像也就挂进了藏人的家里,包括画进了达赖喇嘛的夏宫罗布林卡的墙上。现在很多人说民族区域自治制度不管用,那是好了疮疤忘了疼。

严格讲,新中国建国60多年,比较认真实行民族区域自治的时间大概有1/3。主要集中在1949年到1965年,再加上1979年到1984年。我看这里也有个30年周期律:前两个30年里民族政策法律实行最好的两个五年是1959-1964年和1979-1984年。按照这个规律,2009-2014年应该是第三个周期的前五年,也是必须建设这个制度的五年,但现在还要等待时机。

当下的动荡:是制度公平但社会不公的代价

去掉身份证上的少数民族标志,就能模糊民族边界,或者让他们免遭歧视吗?对少数民族的补偿和互惠,本身是没问题的,然而里面装的内容是“驴唇不对马嘴”。

我们在传统上对少数民族有一个“还债说”,对少数民族有很多补偿机制,有很多援疆援藏工程,然而这个机制本身是否反而加强了少数民族的分离意识?这个补偿在道德上肯定没问题的,但是补偿的内容是错的。

互惠是人类的民间知识实践,它跟马塞勒•莫斯的reciprocity同理,只是说我们给里面装的内容目前是“驴唇不对马嘴”。你想用钱买别人的生态家园主人公权益、权力,那就不能怪别人不领情、不配合。如果说整个国家实行的全是计划经济,所有的企业都是真正的公有制,援疆援藏运行起来也还能过得去,问题在于你有现在有一块儿是市场的,征占少数民族生态家园的里的石油、煤矿、天然气的正当性在哪里?人家的土地和水资源如何用?

由于目前已经不是计划经济,而是企业行为,是利益集团跟地方政府共同开发的市场。90%的市场利益他们拿过来,而且还要人家的投资环境,把原住民的文化边缘化,政府再用百分之几的支出去做扶贫、做安抚,这样的政策从长远看是有问题的,是让人感到既不公平也不安全的。这个问题不能简单归为民族问题而敏感化而回避,因为非少数民族自治地区的东部沿海地区也多是这么搞的。

少数民族本身不是问题,问题是我们对于民族事务治理的理解。

民族问题是国家民族事务治理当中出现的问题,主要是国家的问题,而不是民族的问题。就像黄河闹水,你不能说黄河不好,要说自己做错了什么。我对这个事的理解是:所有的极端宗教主义的背后,都有极端的世俗主义作怪。

民族事务在我们这代人的眼皮底下,溃败成现在这这个样子,我觉得读书人难辞其咎。事情虽然很急迫,但越急迫越要冷静务虚,因为我们这些读书人和媒体人能做就是通过更新观念来创新制度建设。

务虚的另一层意思就是,我们今天讨论的事儿不是技术方法,也不是政策法规问题,而是主流社会知识萎缩和观念退化的问题。当今中国的学者和官员,对于真心诚意、公平正义的目标不肯追求,甚至连实事求是的常识底线都有点儿守不住。境界你上不去,底线你守不住,那就是张维迎说的“多数人无知和少数人无耻”了。民族问题发展到今天这个地步,我认为主要原因就是“官员的无知”跟“学者的无耻”,否则事情不会是这副样子。我们建国时的《共同纲领》、国家《宪法》和《民族区域自治法》对国家责任、公民义务和少数民族权益本来都是有规定的,只要循名责实就好。

我看国内目前所有的研讨,甚至所有的调查,都深陷在国家跟民族,汉人跟少数民族,分裂与统一、动乱与秩序,宗教与世俗,反恐跟维稳的两元对立里。大家都认为一面是善,一面是恶,势同水火冰炭。

第二点,大家首先要认识到,眼前这个事儿的复杂程度,已经不是我们今天这帮学人商量商量就能拿出意见或办法的事儿了。中国民族宗教这块事儿,从辛亥革命到现在,有一个总根源,就是城邦与联邦,单一制与民族区域自治,事实要求我们系统比对哪个更合国情,更能体现中国软实力和中华民族的国际影响力,但我们的国民教育一直都是按“(南京)南库”的内容配置的。我们脑子里的会党种族革命论,就跟村姑小芳的辫子一样,又黑又粗又长,已经把我们脑子鼓捣得纵向到底横向到边。

尽管党从1949年就执政,但国民教育里的东西跟“(北京)北库”的理念是格格不入的,因此我们干部队伍的知识也跟当年梁漱溟用孔子的话评价毛泽东一样,是“知及之,仁不能守之,虽得之必失之”。试看今天的官员,又有多少有毛泽东、李维汉、胡耀邦、习仲勋、乌兰夫那样的境界?

其实我认为,“民族问题的问题”这个题目极其重要,但问题的根子不在少数民族,而在主流社会;不在边疆而在内地,不在江湖而在庙堂;

第二,要解决这个问题有两个办法,如果你不去分析主流社会、知识精英和官员领导,而是天天找老百姓去问:国家认同还是民族认同强?我认为向老百姓提这个问题很是无聊和无理,因为事情本来不是他们搞出来的。这个问题和心理分析的目标群体应该严格限制在在大学教授,党委书记甚至更高层的群体里。大学之道讲究物有本末事有终始,知所先后则近道矣。学术研究要抓主要矛盾和矛盾的主要方面,要先把研究对象先认清,然后才会有新范式和新思路。国家要讲中道理性、公平正义,单边单向的一面之辞终究不利于长治久安。

第三,我认为民族事务治理领域的研究必须要有个新范式,这个新范式要能解决现实问题。我觉得“民族问题”的根源除了前面讲的“(南京)南库”,更深的根源就是现代化,这个现代化有个知识霸权。它非要让自己把根留住,非要把别人的根都来个“一剪没”,具体讲这就是旧现代化的发展观。这个发展观就是当今中国的基本知识地貌和根本问题所在。

它的最大荒唐就是这么大个国家非要学新加坡,网上说现在英语一个字典里把汉语里的“不作死就不会死”翻译成一个词叫“no zuo,no die”。现在老要学新加坡建设城邦国家,就是“作”得太厉害了。

第三是对“三股势力”这种提法的认知问题,我对这个事的理解是:所有的极端宗教主义的背后,都有极端的世俗主义作怪。我们恨极端宗教主义,但极端世俗主义,例如母子父女同学互相下药,还有见死不救这样的事儿我们可能受得了?如果能认识到这一点,我们就要积极用宪政法规把“火药桶”的引信抻长,而不能像现在这样,把社会冲突的引信越剪越短。你想要安全,最后的办法是让别人也感到安全。个人是这样,国家也是这样。这个问题要是反过来想,办法会好些。

第四,原住民权益特别值得我们重视,因为它跟民族区域自治直接相关。什么叫原住民?就是你搞一个现代化建设项目的时候,他已经住在这里。原住民为什么要有区域或者说文化生态家园的自治权力?因为说起来他是“闭门家中坐,祸从天上来”的。他没有要现代化发展,而是你要搞现代化发展,然后你到我的家里来整事儿,然后还说我的语言跟宗教投资环境都不好,还得说给你创造投资环境。我觉得原住民权利这个事儿非常重要。台湾少数民族为此做出的贡献很大。

中国共产党1947年在内蒙古实验,1949年在全国实行的民族区域自治,早就把这个权力权益从政治制度上安置得非常到位。这个道理毛泽东、刘少奇、周恩来、胡耀邦、习仲勋他们那代人是懂的。

民族区域自治之所以重要,就是因为主流社会特别是国家官员的素质很差,还不懂这个道理,所以先用法律给你定下这条规矩,让你学会跟别人下棋。

对少数人来说,他也不可能把权力关进笼子里,所以他要国家用制度给自己编个保护性的笼子。他想出来就出来,不想出来就能在里面守护文化生态家园。我觉得这是一个很基本、很起码的公平意识。我不知道怎么会有那么多国人质疑这个。

处理民族问题:不要“挖祖坟”、不要“毁家园”、不要“绑孩子”

我们关于民族领域治理的讨论,除了讲自上而下,还要有个自下而上的视角。我们不应忽略底层的知识、逻辑、道理和意义,中国目前搞现代化有点儿走火入魔,中国现在虽然有点儿钱,但很多事靠花钱也办不出好效果来,简言之就是“对外烧钱取辱,对内烧钱取祸”。

我们关于民族领域治理的讨论,除了讲自上而下,还要有个自下而上的的视角。顶层设计我们不说也会有人说,但底层的知识、逻辑、道理和意义,我们不说就更容易被忽略,我们应该把文化生态学和博弈论的道理说出来,这是其一。

第二是说从民族事务治理是从观念出发还是从现实出发?中国的地貌就是这么复杂,生态就是这个样子,任何人要执政治理,都不能从观念上说你要建成单一民族国家,都要两边商量,有个博弈规则,能博弈才会有公平机制。

第三是中国目前搞现代化有点儿走火入魔,缺乏从现代到后现代的社会转型和从“社会发展史”到“文化生态学”的研究范式转换意识。有人对“后现代”至今没有好印象,觉得它有点儿捣乱,有点儿智力游戏,有点叫什么——“阴天打孩子,闲着也闲着”,总之是说没事儿找事儿,也就是“作”的意思吧。这个是极大的误会。

后现代的许多理论作品和话语,其实只是强大水流上面的泡沫和浪花。但底下的水流即社会确实已经改变,比如说“多元文化”,“少数人的权利”,“生态环保”,“女权”等等,这些都是实实在在的转变和制度建设。这块东西它已经是国际主流话语。我们先前总说国家的统一和分裂是要命的事,现在如果你的国家只有统一同化和现代化的指标,没有生态、人权和文化保护与传承的指标,那人家就要说这是单边主义。

中国现在虽然有点儿钱,但很多事靠花钱也办不出好效果来,简言之就是“对外烧钱取辱,对内烧钱取祸”吧。我们因而需要一种转型,转型之前先要确定一种创新转型的价值观。

第四是国内少数民族的文化安全。我们目前总说维稳、促统一、搞经济民生重要,弄得少数民族除了跟国家要钱要项目,其他什么也不说。说出来我们也不会懂,还会往歪处想。其实民族就是个传承文化群体,个人最重要的是尊严平等和生育公平,学科上说“生存就是生殖”。

民族最重要的也是尊严平等和文化公平传承。什么是文化公平传承?我理解就是“两要三不要”:两要之一就是“当家作主”,之二就是“教育内容公平”,即把他们的语言文化也放到国民教育体系里。

“三不要”之一就是不要“挖祖坟”,包括不说别人的祖先和语言、宗教不好;之二就是不要“毁家园”,包括不要为了你那个资源开发,就在别人家园里鼓捣资源开发项目;之三就是不要“绑孩子”,包括不要用教育为名,把乡下人家的孩子弄到城里,把边疆的孩子弄到内地办什么新疆班、西藏班,让他不能传承父母和祖先的语言文化和宗教。这是发达国家都有过的经验教训,也是民族区域自治最核心的内容。

 

说到教育,我还要说中国边疆民族地区应该尽快恢复各民族宗教寺院培养大师和领袖的功能,真正构筑起中国的“文化高边疆”,让它对周边国家有吸引力和影响力。现在我们动不动就说别人渗透颠覆我们。其实中国少数民族拥有那么多优质资源和优势地位,他们的文化也是中国优秀文化。我们对周边国家本来占有优势地位。现在中国边疆被别人的宗教,包括一些新的激进教派“倒逼倒灌”,那是张木生《改造我们的文化历史观》一书中提到的问题。

这涉及到后现代的真善美标准。在今天的世界上,我认为真就是诚信。比如我们宪法上说有“民族区域自治”制度,那就要早点儿兑现,六十年无论如何是太长了;善就是公平,特别是文化公平传承;美就是多样性,就是文化生态平衡。就是对民族文化多用加法少用减法。特别是双语教学更要注意“增益其所不能”而不要搞“狸猫换太子”的把戏。

bianminka

http://www.weibo.com/p/23041860f25ed70102uzwk

编者按:

一个国家的地方政府到了如此无以复加的腐败地步,赤裸裸地以办良民证进行民族歧视和发财致富,置国家法律与公民身份证件于不顾,趁火打劫,发国难财。

“便民卡”:“便民”还是扰民和违法?

有关新疆地区的“便民卡”的消息已经听说有一段时间了。开始还只听说是在南疆部分地区施行;而最近则听说,相关管理措施已经扩散到了乌鲁木齐。说是外来新疆籍人员在乌鲁木齐租住房间、开办小商业买卖务工等,不能仅凭身份证,还需要回原住地办理“便民卡”。但非新疆籍的外来人员不受此规定限制。他们只要凭借身份证就可以在乌鲁木齐合法、自由地活动。另外也听说,那些到内地谋生的新疆农民也需要回原住地办理“便民卡”。

由于生活在外地,我并不清楚这个“便民卡”管理办法,究竟是哪个部门出台的土政策。更不明白,为什么全国都已经普遍施行了身份证管理的今天,为什么还需要这个所谓的“便民卡”呢?难道它的法律效力、防伪技术比公安部门颁发的身份证还要强吗?

所谓“便民”是“方便民众”,但新疆的“便民卡”真的方便民众吗?答案自然是否定的。

第一,有一个身份证在手,再去办另办一个身份证明,自然是麻烦之举,我想连绝大多数的傻瓜也不会愿意做多此一举之劳吧?

第二,因为没有“便民卡”必须返回户籍所在地去重新办证,自然会带来时间与经济上的损失。

第三,本来一些在外地务工经商的维吾尔人,通过自己的劳动,已经在当地站住了脚,既为当地经济做出了贡献,也为自己和家人找到了生计。但现在却因为没有“便民卡”就要重返自己老家,就有可能失去自己的工作和生意。这岂不是变相的遣返吗?再联系到现在新疆越来越多的地方,不允许外来南疆维吾尔人自由进入的情况,问题就更大了。前不久,中央还大力鼓励、提倡维吾尔农民到外地务工,并要求为他们提供便利,难道我们的基层就是这样为他们提供便民服务的吗?

第四,便民卡由于是基层组织提供的,这就为一些基层官吏乘机敛财带来了方便。听说个别地方,一张“便民卡”都要几百元之多。

第五,“便民卡”只针对新疆籍人员,尤其是针对维吾尔农民,这是否有变相人群歧视之嫌?而且更为荒唐的是,某地的维吾尔农民到其他新疆地区,多方受阻,就是办了“便民卡”也未必能够居住、经商务工;而非新疆籍的外来人员,却可以畅通无阻。新疆人,维吾尔,在自己的故乡新疆,还不如外地人自由,这是什么道理,我真的不明白。难道是别有用心的人,钻进了新疆基层政权,故意设置这么一个“便民卡”来抹黑政府和党的形象吗?

当然有人会说,这并不是在有意歧视新疆人、歧视维吾尔人,而是因为新疆的情况特殊,是为了更好地控制暴力恐怖活动,维护社会安定。

这个理由也完全站不住脚。

首先,搞暴力恐怖的新疆人、维吾尔,只是极少数,而“便民卡”却是针对大多数。

其二,哪个地方、哪个民族的人,没有出过刑事暴力案犯?为什么单单就只针对新疆或西藏实施此政策?

其三,国家就是最大的暴力机器,而且国家暴力机器的使用,也不时有非正常使用的情况,怎么没有见对国家政府人员颁发特别的“便民卡”?至于说一些其实很可能是违法执法的准国家组织,比如说城管队,这些年来造成的恶性案件还少吗?但不仅没有撤销,也没有给他们发什么“便民卡”。

其四、要求新疆人、新疆维吾尔农民办理“便民卡”,对各地的新疆人严加防范,是有助于一地一时的安全,但却严重伤害维吾尔民众的感情,为恐怖分裂培养潜在的成员。而且即便就是以眼前安全来说,对新疆人的特殊管控,也未必就能带来社会的安全。最近杭州、广州等地接连发生的公交车恶性纵火、爆炸案,难道与新疆人与维吾尔人有关系吗?

总之,针对新疆居民的“便民卡”的土政策,既不便民,还可能违法,损害国家和党的形象,伤害民族情感,破坏民族团结。

所以我强烈建议国家或自治区党委和政府,立即调查并叫停此项土政策,以阻止其危害继续扩大、漫延。

也希望能有法律人士,对此展开调查,并启动违宪审查诉讼。

希望全社会关心新疆稳定、民族团结、社会和谐的人士,都来关注此事。

公民:姚新勇

2014-7-25

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/simp/china/2014/07/140731_chinese_xinjiang_policy.shtml

在讨论中国和维吾尔人的关系话语中,中国的民族政策经常被提及。中国共产党在1930和40年代借鉴和模仿了前苏联的民族政治。中共建政后进行了系统的民族识别、民族区域自治的实施、以及各级民族机构(如国家民委)的建立,以期解决中国的民族问题。
中国的民族政策本质上是一种政治制度和少数民族地区的社会服务体系。或者说,是中国少数民族地区的民政部门,来解决少数民族相对落后的经济和社会发展。少数民族的权利自此之后基本上通过民族政策来界定和实施,如优惠的食品补贴、高考加分以及相对宽容的计划生育政策。

民族替代公民
中国的民族政策本来是对中国基本大法如宪法的补充。但是,民族政策在地方上的实践在某种程度上忽略甚至取代了界定中国少数民族(以及多数民族)作为中国公民的基本大法,尤其在民族关系紧张的自治地区更是如此。
中国的基本法律制度,尽管不尽完美,但在内地却保障了基本大法赋予汉族公民的基本权力。在少数民族地区实施民族区域自治法和在汉族地区实施中国的基本大法实施上导致了中国法律实施的二元分化。

这种二元分化的法律实施制造出这样的假象,即作为文化群体的汉族却成了代表中国的政治国族:汉语、汉服、汉文化、汉俗等在各级地方官员那里俨然成了中国的表征。所谓中华民族是多元一体的论述和中国是统一的多民族国家的事实被地方政府和官员的大汉族主义所取代。少数民族的独特文化、语言、服饰、体征等成了地方政府维稳对象和发财致富的各种项目。
这种二元分化最严重的地区当属新疆。在讨论新疆的分裂主义势力时,一个忽略的最大推力其实就是地方政府、尤其是强力部门,他们巧妙地绑架了国家,分裂了少数民族作为特殊文化群体和中国公民之间的统一性和关联性。

地方作为中央

这种在新疆二元分化的政策在异化维吾尔族方面自1990年代以来就已见端倪。在王乐泉主政新疆期间,维吾尔族作为中国公民的情形急剧恶化。乌鲁木齐政府不但没有贯彻中国的基本大法,反而通过了一系列地方法规来限制维吾尔人的宗教实践和社会聚会。这些涉及民族问题的地方性法规既没有通过全国人大的认定和监督,也没有国家民族的协调和参与,甚至缺乏在中国社会的公开讨论。它只是反映了地方特色甚至领导意志。这种以国家安全和主权而构筑的地方性法规构成了新疆独具特色的官方分裂主义。
其实,试图军管新疆的最终企图是近代新疆各个军阀的梦想。民国时期的新疆军阀早已精通如何在这一边界民族地区通过控制宗教来制造紧张甚至冲突以便巩固大权。
历史总是惊人的相似。90年代的新疆的维吾尔人和政府的关系急剧恶化,导致了诸如1997年伊宁事件那样的恶性冲突。二元分化的法律实施、新疆的军阀遗产以及中国国家家级别机构的缺失表明乌鲁木齐(而不是北京)在制定征对维吾尔人的政策方面和反恐运动中充当了领导角色。
由外而内

9/11攻击以及美国的反恐战争在某种程度上是为乌鲁木齐的维吾尔政策背书。北京和华盛顿将东土耳其斯坦伊斯兰运动列入恐怖主义组织名单坐实了乌鲁木齐自90年代就已实施的反三股势力的斗争。当中国在9/11之后在公安部成立反恐协调小组之后,乌鲁木齐已实施多年的反三股势力的努力便升格为国家意志和政策。

美国在阿富汗的反恐战争的失败再一次证明了苏联的经历:在不对称战争中,失败的都是自负的强权。更为严重的是,美国在阿富汗反恐战争的失败激活了中亚、南亚甚至中东穆斯林圣战战士的热情。阿富汗塔利班势力的卷土重来和伊拉克伊凡特力量的急剧扩张表明,任何大国卷入同穆斯林的反恐战争,它将陷入无止尽的暴力循环和冲突扩散。
北京和昆明的暴力,这周发生的莎车的大规模暴力冲突,中南亚如白沙瓦和吉尔吉特地区中国人被暗杀绑票都预示着动荡的到来,而中国将是这一冲突中的主角。如何解决这一问题,是北京(而不是乌鲁木齐)应该思考的问题。
中国的新疆政策应该是去地方化的时候了,毕竟中国的新疆政策被乌鲁木齐地方政府绑架太久了,而中国及其各族人们为此付出的代价太大了。

本文作者马海云,美国马里兰霜堡大学教授,专攻中国穆斯林和伊斯兰研究。

thenational

thenational-1
http://www.thenational.ae/world/china/ramadan-highlights-divisions-in-chinas-muslim-community

BEIJING // Shortly before sundown the forecourt of Beijing’s Niujie mosque starts to fill with people.

The mosque’s staff carry in platters of watermelon and large kettles full of Vimto and the congregation wanders in to leaf through the day’s Ramadan teaching materials.

At 7.38pm an electric bell sounds and the faithful approach two long trestle tables covered in sugary treats to recite the maghrib prayer and break their fast.

“It’s easy to observe Ramadan in China,” says Sha Yanfeng, a 35-year-old metro worker. “No one bothers us.”

Yet, the same is not true for all Chinese Muslims, especially after a series of deadly attacks that the Chinese government blames on separatists from the north-western region of Xinjinag, home to the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority.

Mr Sha and his mosque belong to the Hui community – a group of some 10 million Muslims who are descended from Persian and Arab traders who first came to China in the 7th century BC.

Of the 10 ethnic groups that practise Islam in China, the Hui, say experts, are given the most religious freedom.

At the other end of the spectrum is China’s second-largest Muslim community, the Uighurs – Turkic-speaking people who mainly live in Xinjiang.

There, mosques have been plastered with posters detailing “illegal religious practices” such as holding private Quranic study sessions and sending children to religious schools, and Uighur students and government employees were banned from observing the Ramadan fast.

“There is huge discrepancy in how China’s Muslim minorities are treated even though the law is the same throughout the county,” says Ma Haiyun, a professor of history at Maryland’s Frostburg University and an expert on minorities and Islam in China.

“The local government in Xinjiang targets Islam as symbol of Uighur identity. They know it is the only thing that can unite the Uighurs,” he adds.

So why are the two groups treated so differently?

Firstly, the Hui are now almost indistinguishable from the Han – China’s ethnic majority – aside from their clothes and religious practices.

Physically, they look almost the same and they speak Mandarin as their mother tongue, albeit peppered with the odd Persian or Arabic word or phrase.

Another reason is that the Hui have never shown any secessionist tendencies – partly because they were never concentrated in one area.

The Uighur on the other hand share little genetic overlap with Han Chinese and in many cases do not speak Mandarin.

Xinjiang’s historical relations with China have also been chequered – with the region sometimes comprising part of China, sometimes partly independent and sometimes ruled by other empires.

At least twice in the last century, chunks of Xinjiang broke away from Chinese rule.

All of this has made for an uneasy relationship between Beijing and Muslims in Xinjinag.

Many Uighurs accuse the Chinese government of restricting religious freedom and flooding Xinjiang with Han migrants who get preferential access to jobs and services.

“We are made to feel like criminals in our own home,” says a man from the desert city of Tupran, who wanted to be identified only as Ismail.

The Chinese government denies circumscribing Uighurs’ religious freedom, saying that the state protects “all normal religious activities” .

It is a line that Ma Tong, the imam at Niujie mosque, repeats when asked about the relative freedom the Hui enjoy.

He explains that when Muslims live in non-Islamic countries – China is officially an atheist state – some practices might bump up against local laws.

“The situation in China, or in any non-Islamic country in the world, is slightly different to that in Arabic countries where they have Islamic law. You have to behave according to the law of where you live,” he said.

Nonetheless, the Hui and other Muslim communities in China – the Kazakh, Kirgiz, Bao’an, Tatar, Salar, Dongxiang, Uzbek and Tajik – are also subject to observation and limitations.

“Strong restrictions are imposed on the movement of Muslim religious and intellectual leaders and on the dissemination of their ideas. The result is a relatively immature and fragmented religious culture, with limited capacity to foster considered critiques of contemporary social and political problems,” says Anthony Garnaut an expert on Chinese Islam at Oxford University.

Dr Garnaut and others say that efforts to exclude and suppress Uighur culture, as well as a recent crackdown on anti-state and illegal religious actives, could lead to an intensification of violence in Xinjiang.

If it does, the Hui at Niujie would have little sympathy for the perpetrators.

“Islam is a peaceful religion,” says Li Tou, a 35-year-old antiques dealer. “The people who carried out the attacks on Tiananmen and in Kunming are not Muslims.”

Mark

http://www.themarknews.com/2014/07/17/the-fallout-of-chinas-uyghur-policy/


On April 30, 2014, an attack at a train station in the capital of China’s Xinjiang region killed three people and injured 79 others. Haiyun Ma, a former task force leader on minority welfare in China, argues that the only way to prevent more violence is to revise the current repressive policies on the Uyghur minority.

China’s ethnic policies are largely to blame for the state of Uyghur–China relations. In the 1930s and 1940s, Communist China developed its own minzu (ethnicity) politics, which were borrowed from, and modeled on, the former Soviet Union’s nationality politics.

Chinese minzu policies after 1949 identified 55 ethnic minority ethnic nationalities, such as the Uyghur, as different minzu, and established ethnic autonomous regions, ethnic autonomous laws, and minzu-related agencies and apparatus at national and local levels.

China’s ethnic policy aims to provide services for socially and economically disadvantaged ethnic minorities. Minority groups’ rights are largely defined and generally realized through special ethnic policies, such as food stipends, lower requirements for college entrance, and liberal family planning. The minzu policy is thus supplementary to China’s constitution and basic laws.

In reality, the practice of the minzu policy by local officials in ethnic autonomous regions to some extent ignores China’s basic laws. On the other hand, China’s basic laws and institutions, no matter how imperfect, have protected Han citizen rights in Han regions.

The juxtaposition of ethnic autonomous laws in ethnic regions and basic laws in Han regions has resulted in bifurcated law enforcement on the ground, and has strengthened the divide between Han and non-Han.

The majority Han culture is seen to represent China as a political entity: The state, officials, and scholars have officially and publicly promoted Han language, clothing, culture, cults, and fashion. Meanwhile, due to their distinct cultural and ethnic features, the Uyghurs and other non-Han groups are perceived as less Chinese, or even un-Chinese, and are pushed towards nationalization (i.e., Hanification) through clothing, cultural, and language reforms.

The bifurcated law enforcement is most evident in Xinjiang, where the Uyghurs have been deprived of their constitutionally guaranteed rights as Chinese citizens, such as practicing their religion and obtaining passports.

This already suggests the danger of alienating non-Han peoples in China. Since the 1990s, when Wang Lequan came to power as party secretary, the legal status of Xinjiang Uyghurs has deteriorated.

Instead of enforcing China’s basic laws and ethnic autonomous laws in Xinjiang, Wang’s Urumqi government instituted a series of local laws restricting Uyghur religious practices from publication, prayer, and public gatherings.

These local laws are in opposition to China’s basic national laws and deprive the Uyghurs of their rights as Chinese citizens. More seriously, they have not been discussed or passed by China’s National Congress. Here we see an official separatism supported by various local policies and regulations in the name of maintaining stability and sovereignty.

Wang Lequan is not the first to try to instate military rule in Xinjiang. His warlord predecessors endeavored to make themselves king of Xinjiang by creating tensions and conflicts in this borderland region when China was in turmoil from 1911 to 1949.

It is not coincidental that during Wang Lequan’s tenure as king of Xinjiang, relations between the Uyghur and the government have quickly worsened, as represented by the open conflict in Gulja in 1997.

Even China’s national campaign (the so-called “strike hard” campaign), whose goal in other provinces is to reduce ordinary crimes, has been twisted and manipulated by the Urumqi government, and positioned as a political campaign against the “evil forces” of separatism, extremism, and terrorism.

The bifurcated law enforcement in China, warlord legacy in Xinjiang, and lack of a national-level agency (such as the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, or CIA in the United States) indicate that Urumqi – not Beijing – has exercised sovereignty since the 1990s with regard to China’s Uyghur policy and anti-terror campaign. It is clear that China is not a complete and regular modern nation, not to mention a complete global power.

The 9/11 attacks on the United States provided a timely justification for Urumqi’s policies towards the Uyghurs. China’s opportunistic siding with the United States on anti-terror was a victory for the Urumqi government’s ongoing repressive Uyghur policy.

Beijing and Washington’s joint designation of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist group substantialized Urumqi’s long-held campaign against separatism, extremism, and terrorism. When China established an Anti-Terror Coordination Team and set up an anti-terror bureau in the Ministry of Public Security, Urumqi’s policy was promoted to a national level.

China’s opportunism, however, proved to be nearsighted. The new administration in Washington quickly corrected the previous administration’s “anti-Islamic fascism” campaign, clarifying that it was targeting terrorists represented by Osama Bin Laden. Later, the ETIM was removed from the terrorist organizations list, which to some extent embarrassed Beijing.

Beijing changed its Anti-Terror Coordination Team (with the United States) to an Anti-Terror Leadership Team in 2013, and it is now focused on the unrest in Xinjiang.

From the perspective of Uyghurs and other Muslims in Central and South Asia, this anti-terror war is the Chinese translation of a mujahideen movement. A prolonged regional guerilla conflict with the goal of revenging China’s Uyghur policy will likely develop in Xinjiang and elsewhere (as recent deadly attacks in Kunming, Beijing, and Urumqi suggest) if China continues to allow the Urumqi government to implement its repressive policies.

Photo Credit: Uyghur Turkistan via Compfight cc

Haiyun MaHaiyun Ma is a former task force leader on minority welfare in China, and currently teaches in the history department at Frostburg State University in Maryland. His teaching and research interests are Chinese History, Islam and Muslims of China (including Xinjiang), China-Middle East relations, and China-Central Asian Relations.