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Turkistan Islamic Party Renews Focus on Anti-China Jihad, Calls for Liberation of Homeland from “Chinese Invaders”
On November 5, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) published a nine-page booklet titled “An Appeal to All People Around [the] World! We Are Not from China; Our Homeland is East Turkistan!” The statement was written by TIP Deputy Commander Master Abdu Salam and was published through the group’s Voice of Islam Propaganda Center.
The message is addressed to the “scholars, teachers, and brothers … the Islamic community … especially Central Asian Muslims” and begins by declaring East Turkistan to be “the fortress of Central Asia” that must be protected. Presently, he says, “East Turkistan has no mention on the world map” and is considered Chinese land while the “Turkistan people” are considered Chinese.
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Abdu Salam rejects this assumption, asserting the peoples of this land are not Chinese and differ in their language, culture, and religion. “We are your brothers and sisters from East Turkistan who are oppressed by the Chinese invaders”, he says, noting “this land came at the price of our ancestors’ wealth and blood.”
He goes on to tell of how the Chinese invaded “our country”, “overwhelmed it with tyranny”, and states “that land never belonged to the Chinese government.” The TIP argues East Turkistan is an “independent country” with unique geo-strategic importance, fertile soil, and abundant natural resources that is populated by Muslims who are “an integral part of the Islamic Ummah.”
These are “resilient, brave, loyal, and kind people” and “their glorious stories are recorded in history books around the world.” He describes the land as home to scientists, professors, and engineers and a Muslim population that adheres to the Hanafi methodology in jurisprudence.
Interestingly, the author purports East Turkistan was historically a bulwark against the expansion of malign Chinese influence in the region:
East Turkistan was a solid fortress that kept China from spreading to Central Asia and the rest of the world. China, fearing that they will not be able to expand to Central Asia, made East Turkistan and its people their first target, to destroy this fortress protecting Central Asia. China does not border Central Asia, therefore, the territory of East Turkistan became the most important strategic location for China.
In recent years, China planned to build the Silk Road with the aim of dominating the entire world economy, as well as to win the trade war with the West and the United States. This is the road that China needs to move towards Central Asia and the West. But the people of East Turkistan were the first threat to China’s plan. In order to actualize this evil plan, China began to intensify its oppression of the Muslims in East Turkistan who are considered a threat to it.
Abdu Salam then makes an appeal to the Islamic Ummah, telling of how he has seen with his own eyes “China’s oppression of East Turkistan Muslims” and has himself been oppressed by the state. China’s policies include the banning of prayer, the performing of Hajj, and even reading the Quran. He alleges the government has shut down and destroyed mosques, killed Muslims, imprisoned them in camps, and made small children into orphans. Moreover, he says the Chinese forcefully indoctrinate the youth with communist ideology and “Chinese ideas of Marx and Lenin.”
He makes the claim that “the Chinese government has carried out oppression in Turkistan that has not been seen in the history of mankind” and pleads for help. The TIP’s stated goal is to “take back occupied East Turkistan land” and support those being repressed by the Chinese government. “We are not terrorists, we are Turkistan soldiers that confront China which came forward to remove our basic human rights”, he adds.
The author assures that the TIP is not a threat to any country, organization, or nation and is eager to work with “any country or individual that opposes China in accordance with Islamic law.” He urges “all Muslims to fulfill their obligations” including the protection of East Turkistan, as this means protecting the world and especially Central Asia from “the hegemony of China.”
Concluding his statement, Abdu Salam calls upon Muslims and other peoples to reject Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, spread awareness of the dire situation in East Turkistan, assist the displaced and needy, pressure China to respect human rights, and pray.