19 years ago, 9/11 led a series of US government’s actions against “terrorism”, including Guantánamo Bay. We all know those stories already, but rarely are people aware that there were several Uyghurs detained there for a while — this fact changed contemporary Uyghurs’ destiny.

In a remarkable official declaration in 2001, the Chinese government for the first time clarified that East Turkistan activists were actually terrorists who originate from outside China’s territory, and that they were founded by the Taliban. This declaration wasn’t based on any solid evidence, but the false arrests of Uyghurs by the US government provided the best material to Chinese government’s propaganda. As Sean R. Roberts’s argument shows, this new narrative altered the relationship between the state and Uyghurs, since terrorists are “not merely a threat to state sovereignty but a threat to all of society” (234), and with this logic, Uyghurs became a virus that must be eradicated, quarantined, or cleansed from Chinese society.

CCP hence has uprightly persecuted for decades, and without any major criticism — until the end of 2018. Before that, the persecution measures under the anti-terrorism narrative could always be viewed as an acceptable measure of national security.

Xinjiang’s human rights crisis is undoubtedly caused by the totalitarian nature of the CCP regime, the determination to eliminate the culture of ethnic minorities, and their pure evil. However, didn’t the radicalized Islamophobia and anti-terrorism narrative after 9/11 facilitate and justify CCP’s persecution against Uyghurs? And who should take responsibility?









Torontonian, Writer, Researcher, Political scientist in making. 座標多倫多,前半生是靠遊牧客棧和生產文字維生的歐亞大陸流浪漢,現為半路出家的政治學學徒一枚,關注種族、移民、排外、民粹等議題,擅寫生命流水帳。

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