Just kidding, obviously. It was a single march and it was in Kazakhstan. Because why should clashes between an organized army and civilian-blending militants warrant global attention? The Uighurs aren’t being targeted because they attacked Israeli civilians. What’s the point of even tuning in?
Hundreds of Uighurs rallied in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty on Thursday to mourn those who died in violent clashes in the neighboring Xinjiang region of China last month and to call for its independence. Kazakhstan is home to the largest Uighur community outside China. About 500 people, many wearing the blue badges with white crescents of the Uighur independence movement, gathered at a mosque for a traditional ceremony.
In Xinjiang’s worst ethnic unrest in decades, Uighurs staged protests in the regional capital Urumqi on July 5 following a clash among migrant workers at a factory in south China that had led to two Uighur deaths. The Urumqi violence left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 wounded, mostly members of the China’s ethnic Han majority, according to Chinese authorities.
If the Uighurs had been smart enough to use human shields, maybe then European liberals would have found a reason to admire them. As for venerated Muslim Street, yeah, where has it been?
In Denmark a newspaper printed cartoons of the prophet Mohammed and the Muslim world erupted in anger. Today that same Muslim world seems to be mute, deaf, and blind, and is oblivious to the violence and discrimination suffered by the Uighurs, a Muslim minority group, at the hands of the Chinese government. The reaction to the cartoons was swift and furious. Eleven ambassadors from Muslim countries formally protested to the Danish government, which offered the obvious response: In Denmark, freedom of the press is deeply respected and the government had nothing to do with the images that caused the offense. The reply was as obvious as it was futile: The Danish consulate in Beirut was burned, and several people died in violent street riots in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia…
Since the 1990s, the Chinese government has been carrying out systematic policies that discriminate against Uighurs. Their language is forbidden in schools; government employees cannot have long beards or head scarves and are not allowed to pray or fast during working hours… Young Uighurs are often forced to work in faraway provinces, while Han Chinese — who comprise about 90 percent of China’s population — are encouraged to move to Xinjiang, the autonomous region where Uighurs are the largest ethnic group. More than 2 million have settled there…
Chinese repression of Uighurs has been going on for a long time. What have Muslim leaders worldwide said or done so far? Not much. As Foreign Policy has reported, in different countries, mullahs, imams, and assorted clerics have found the time to issue fatwas condemning among other practices, Pokémon cartoons, total nudity during sex for married couples, and the use of vaccines against polio, not to mention Salman Rushdie. They have yet to find the time to say anything about China’s practices toward Uighurs.
The article goes on to explain the silence in terms of realpolitik and fear of Chinese reprisal. That’s one theory – and a perfectly pat one for a magazine named Foreign Policy to trot out – though I’m not sure why American silence on Israel isn’t similarly explained in FP rather than by talking darkly about the Jewish Lobby (it could be!)
Another theory is that it’s just not as much fun to march in the streets if you can’t indulge in anti-Semitic tropes like well-poisoning and blood libel. In addition to avoiding nagging points like “but the Muslim street bucks Arab governments all the time – look what happened in Egypt during Lebanon II and Cast Lead,” it also has the virtue of parsimony.
* Kazakhstan’s Uighurs rally to mourn Xinjiang dead [Reuters]
* Mute Muslims [FP]
* Why America needs Israel more than Israel needs America [Gutmann]
* Austrian Jews Too Terrified To List Their Children As Jewish (Plus: Europe Reaches An Anti-Jewish Tipping Point) [MR]
* Syrian Mass Killings, Human Rights Violations Spark Global Outcry
* Global Outrage As Egypt Promises To Beat Palestinian Civilians Who Breach Border
* Global Outcry As Hamas Soldiers Kill Palestinian Boy, 10 Others, In Non-Civil War Firefight (Plus: Was It Hamas’s “Military Wing” Or “Political Wing” That Did The Killing?)