Conclusion: Need for Moderation and a Humane Approach
In multiethnic, multinational societies, minority concerns over their share in the political space, control over resources and protection of their identities (religious, linguistic) often contribute to political conflicts.2 There is also a strong and positive correlation between ethnic conflict and ethnic nepotism measured by ethnic heterogeneity3 as with religious polarization and the risk of internal conflict.4 Minority grievances over the lack of political and civil rights, income inequality, and social fragmentation are especially conducive to internal unrest including civic strife and insurgency. With religious polarization, conflicts tend to get protracted as there could be a perception that the conflicting issues are indivisible and hence not amenable to settlement through negotiations.5 It is in this lens that the terrorist threat in China needs to be viewed. Undoubtedly, like many conflicts in other parts of world, the conflict involving Muslims in China is rooted in issues of national self-determination of a minority population. However, this is increasingly being overshadowed by religious undertones. Thus, today, the real threat stems not so much from Uighur nationalism but from their religiosity which unfortunately is under the influence of the ideology of global jihad.
KeywordsTerrorist Threat Separatist Force Transnational Terrorism Muslim Minority Muslim Identity
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.T.R. Gurr, People versus States: Minorities at Risk in the New Century (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2001).Google Scholar
- 5.Isak Svensson, Fighting with Faith: Religion and Conflict Resolution in Civil Wars, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 51, No. 6 (December 2007): 930–949.Google Scholar
- 8.S.C. Poe, C. N. Tate and D. Lanier, “Domestic Threats: the Abuse of Personal Integrity,” in Paths to State Repression: Human Rights Violations and Contentious Politics, ed. C. Davenport (Latham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).Google Scholar
- 10.Nicolas Becquelin, “Staged Development in Xinjiang,” China Quarterly, No. 178 (2008), 358–78.Google Scholar
- 11.Nicolas Becquelin, “Staged Development in Xinjiang,” China Quarterly, No. 178 (2008), 358–78.Google Scholar
- 14.Amon N. Guiora, Global Perspectives on Counterterrorism (Aspen Publishers, 2007), 19.Google Scholar
- 18.Wu Xinbo, “China: Security Practice of a Modernizing and Ascending Power,” in Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences, ed. Muthiah Alagappa (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), 131.Google Scholar
- 19.Kung Lap-Yan, “National Identity and Ethno-religious Identity,” A Critical Enquiry into Chinese Religious Policy with Reference to Uighurs in Xinjiang,” Religion, State and Society, Vol. 34, No. 4 (2006): 375–391.Google Scholar
- 22.Sofia Jamil and Roderick Chia, “Lifting the Lid OffXinjiang’s Insecurities,” NTS Insight (Singapore S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, September 2008), 7–8.Google Scholar