Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fighting Islamist Terrorism, the Chinese Way

It’s Ramadan and nations around the world are awash in Islamist terrorism. The West is besieged with Muslim refugees and is making a valiant attempt to integrate the new population. As of now, it has had limited success and a great deal of crime, added to the terrorist incidents..

In authoritarian China things work differently. China has its own Muslim population, called Uighurs. The group has launched several terrorist attacks, among them the rampage through the Kunming train station in 2014. There, knife wielding terrorists murdered 33 people and injured many more.

The Chinese authorities did not merely declare war on terrorism. They decided to repress the religious practices of all Muslims.

The Wall Street Journal editorializes about the Chinese approach to terrorism:

It’s Ramadan, and Beijing is again restricting the peaceful practice of Islam in its western territory of Xinjiang. This year government employees are required to ensure that friends and family aren’t fasting or otherwise observing the Muslim holy month. Under the “Together in Five Things” campaign, cadres are even living in the homes of the Uighur minority, according to the World Uyghur Congress.

The government has suppressed Ramadan. It is not interested winning hearts and minds. The Journal continues:

In February Mr. Chen described security as “grim” and urged the People’s Armed Police to “bury the corpses of terrorists and terror gangs in the vast sea of the people’s war.” So much for winning hearts and minds.

It did not stop with Ramadan. Other identifying characteristics have also been banned, presumably because they denote separation:

New “Regulations on Anti-Extremism” that came into effect in April outlawed veils or “abnormal” beards. Parents can’t give children “overly religious” names such as Muhammad or encourage them to follow the Muslim faith. 

And also:

Other measures include antiterror drills, shows of force by the security services and the installation of satellite tracking devices in cars. Mandatory activities for students are deliberately scheduled on Fridays to prevent them from attending mosque services, and rewards are offered for reporting men who wear a beard or women who wear a veil.

Control over the Uighur population goes far beyond religion. The use of their native language is discouraged in schools, and economic opportunities are limited. The best jobs go to Han Chinese settlers, who are given incentives to move to Xinjiang. Peaceful dissent is not tolerated. 

The Journal does not approve. It sees the Chinese approach as repressive—a reasonable description—and suggests that it is likely to provoke a violent uprising:

Yet China’s fears of a Uighur terrorist movement may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. As Uighurs flee the country and some become radicalized, Islamic State issued a video in February in which a Uighur fighter threatened China with “rivers of blood.” The government’s anti-Islamic policies are also causing anger among Muslim nations such as Indonesia.

Chinese officials continue to respond to every outbreak of violence in Xinjiang with greater repression. By restricting even the peaceful practice of Islam by historically moderate Uighurs, Beijing is traveling a dangerous path that threatens domestic stability.

From the Chinese perspective Western tolerance has produced far more deadly terrorist attacks than has Chinese repression. 

Western thinkers have bought the oppression/rebellion narrative and have used it to avoid any repressive measures. It says that if you push down on a gas that is in a confined space the gas will eventually explode its container. It's a persuasive narrative, but it is probably not true.

Back in the day, when Tiananmen Square was filled with students demanding democracy, the Chinese authorities cracked down viciously—invading the encampment with tanks and murdering dozens of the demonstrators. At the time, serious Western thinkers like Nicholas Kristof and Jonathan Mirsky declared that the Chinese people would soon rise up against oppression and overthrow their authoritarian masters. We are still waiting.

They were wrong. They misread the situation. Where we saw Woodstock they saw another Cultural Revolution. Where we saw enlightened students who wanted merely to vote, they saw a new generation of Red Guards. The population of China preferred prosperity to famine. They trusted their leaders more than they trusted students revolutionaries.

In any event, the repression did what it was supposed to do. Now, the Chinese government is forcing Muslims to conform to Chinese ways, even at the expense of peaceful religious practices. No country in the West could do such a thing, but if terrorism continues to spread in the tolerant West, how much longer will it be before Westerners decide that the Chinese way is better than the liberal democratic approach?


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Question: How many Muslim refugees -- Syrian or otherwise -- has China taken?

Answer: Zero.

It is interesting that the Seattle-Silicon Valley tech oligarchs are so dismayed with American voting choices, scolding us that Trump is evil (a counter to Google's childish "Don't be evil" motto), yet they love, love, love China. They think China is nifty. No doubt they believe the smart set is running the joint. Well, the authoritarian smart set is, er, authoritarian. Maybe we should consider that when listening to left-brain software programmers telling us what is best for us, our economics and our society.

Better yet, we should consider relocating all the Syrian refugees in Silicon Valley and Seattle, testing this supposed love of diversity. No? Then perhaps they can relocate their tech headquarters to Beijing. Starve the California state government that gets wackier and more one-sided every day.

Ares Olympus said...

It does feel nice to be able to repress people for sharing religion with crazy people. The question is how you more effectively flush out the rats with minimal collateral damage.

I suppose the logic here might be (1) Repress religious expression (2) Provoke an uprising by radicals (3) Justly crush the uprising.

Once the radicals are all dead, offer to expand religious freedoms again if people play nice.

Texas tried to do something like this with a "Draw Muhammad" contest. It's a little risky, but it beats waiting for a ticking time bomb.

AesopFan said...

"It is interesting that the Seattle-Silicon Valley tech oligarchs are so dismayed with American voting choices, scolding us that Trump is evil (a counter to Google's childish "Don't be evil" motto), yet they love, love, love China. They think China is nifty. " -IAC OCD

The Left and Democrats in general are so dismayed with Conservative social-value choices, scolding us that homophobia and misogyny are evil, yet they love, love, love Islam.

Consistently inconsistent.
Because the goal is nothing but power.

James said...

What's the OCD mean?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

AesopFan: Yep. Did you catch any of Zuckerberg's commencement address at Harvard this year? My, my, what these wealthy technophiles propose be done with other people's' money. He wants a universal wage! A man with a net worth today of $62.9 billion proposes a national policy of compensating people using taxpayer funds (in the midst of deficit spending) without any tie to value contribution. What a fool! It's this kind of gushing sentimental indifference that is the hallmark of Silicon Age, a more vacant upgrade of the Gilded Age. People who speak and say nothing of value because their Leftist philosophy is an assault on the very idea of value. Gates, Page, Brin, Zuckerberg, Schmidt, Allen, et al. They all have this phony, robotic, agnostic, feel-good belief system that informs them that they know better than the rest of us.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

James: Here is the answer to your query... please don't think me pedantic, but I think it is wise to share the background on the whole pseudonym/persona, though I will begin with your immediate question:

Ordo Carmelitarum Discalceatoru. It's the Latin for the Roman Catholic Discalced Carmelite Order, or the Carmelites, abbreviated O.C.D. I'm not a lay member of the order, but do love the writings of Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. Both are saints and Doctors of the Church who made lots of powerful people uncomfortable in their day. Couldn't fit both names in, so I went with the abbreviation.

Ignatius is for Ignatius of Loyola, the mystic who inspired legions of Christian heroes -- the Jesuits, the once-great Catholic Jedi knights, until they succumbed to Modernity after over 400 years of breathtaking impact,

Acton is for John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, more commonly known as Lord Acton (though I could do without the aristocratic silliness), who spoke truth to and about power (regarding his own pope!).

Chesterton is for Gilbert Keith Chesterton (anything but an aristocrat) who is perhaps the most brilliant, beautiful and a jolly a writer as I can possibly imagine. He walked the full distance of spiritual growth in his lifetime, and wrote about it in the most prescient ways.

So three saints and two brilliant writers. All personal heroes of mine. And every one of them stood for the Truth (John 3:16) and not one of them would be cowed by the extraordinary volume of nonsense our modern "tolerance" culture speaks about, which is really the most disgusting manifestation of sentimental indifference. It empowers the lesser demons of our nature, rather than Lincoln's "better angels." Those who would say they have transcended the human condition are very dangerous indeed. To believe that, you have to go to college.

So now you know your answer, lest you think me crazy. That said, I suppose I am crazy.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Oh, and of course the picture... I almost forgot. It's Thomas Aquinas. Another saint and Doctor of the Church. A true giant, in every dimension imaginable. So that's 4 saints, 2 writers.

James said...

As a former altar boy I'm impressed. You got some heavy hitters there. I always use initials because I'm a lazy derelict on that kind of stuff. Being crazy is no big deal as a matter of fact done well it can be quite fun. Thanks for the reply.
Ps. The Jesuits ran into a little trouble in the New World when teaching the doctrine of Transubstantiation. The natives of that time weren't very enthusiastic about note taking.

sestamibi said...

How long will it be before the West is UNABLE to implement the Chinese approach?