East Turkestan’s Muslims reject US-sponsored representatives in favour of Islam

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Our East Turkestan Correspondent

Ramadan 18, 1425 2004-11-01


by Our East Turkestan Correspondent (World, Crescent International Vol. 33, No. 9, Ramadan, 1425)

On September 14, the establishment of a “Government of the Republic of East Turkestan in Exile” was declared in Washington DC by the East Turkestan National Freedom Centre (ETNFC), an Uigurexile group based in Washington. The government of China, which is occupying East Turkestan(also known as Xinkiang province) condemned the action fiercely. According to Beijing, those who established it are “terrorists”, so Beijing asked the US for a detailed explanation. It seems that exiled Uigurs are trying to get more international attention for their efforts to become independent from China, with the support of the international community, in particular the US.

To the government of China the establishment of such a government in exile means that another headache has been added to the existence of a Tibetan “government in exile” in India. There are huge differences between the two governments in many ways. But this article is not about a comparison between the two. The question is, do the people of East Turkestan accept the “Government of East Turkestan in Exile” as their voice to the world?

Some secular-minded Uigurs hope that the US will support the governent in exile and help to establish an American-style independent state in East Turkestan. If we look at the constitution of the “future East Turkestan”, drafted by ETNFC on what they claim is a consensus of many Uigurgroups, we find that there is not a single word about the would-be state’s Islamic identity. It looks as if the compilers of the “constitution” turned to American political thought and made a complete copy. The number one enemy of Islam and humanity is described as the “leader of liberty, justice and wisdom” in the written statement issued by Anwar Yusuf, head of the ETNFC. Every other paragraph of the declaration starts with “We turn to the United States that ...”, beseeching America for its “kind” help to achieve “freedom and independence”, rather than beseeching Allah, the sole creator and maintainer of the universe, for His guidance and wisdom. The declaration also states that “the United States is fighting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan” and that “the EastTurkestanis supported the United States”: this last is an utter lie about the stand of EastTurkestanis on the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The sentences of the declaration are dotted with degrading phrases, shamelessly pretending that the will of America is East Turkestan’s, with a pretty veneer to cover the cracks.

We, the people of East Turkestan, ask you: You blamed Uigurs who worked for China under occupation as the puppets of the Chinese, so why do you not realize that you have become the puppets of America? You claim that you are Muslim by faith, so do you think it is Muslim behaviour to speak and act against the interests of other Muslims with the enemies of Islam and Muslims, justifying and supporting their ruthless and inhumane aggressions? Did you ever protest when the American government put the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) on the list of ‘terrorist organisations’? And did you feel grief when ETIM’s leader, Hasan Mahsum, was martyred, who was fighting for East Turkestan with his life and property? Look at the “political prisoners” being persecuted under the Karimov regime in Uzbekistan: they are committed Muslims who are dissatisfied with their government’s policies. In order to hold onto power, Karimov is oppressing the Uzbek people with the label of “Islamic terrorists” or “extremists”. Do you see any difference between Karimov’s campaign against his Muslim population and the Chinese one against the Uigurs?

The nationalist Uigur groups must note that the Muslims of East Turkestan refuse to accept such a government as their voice and representative in the world. The people of East Turkestanwelcomed Islam a thousand years ago, and Islam has been their way of life since. We do not want a western-model secular government, partly because secularism has been the main cause of the destruction of human values; rather we want an Islamic state that adopts the principles and priorities of Islamic governance in all its activities. The East Turkestani people do not want another Turkey in which our Islamic identity is denied; nor another Allawi or Karzai who “begs for bread” at the door of Islam’s enemies. Instead we, the people of East Turkestan, call on you to think clearly about how a Muslim should be and behave, and what East Turkestan’s Muslims really want in the land where Islam is deeply rooted in the soil.

[This article was sent by a correspondent in Chinese-occupied East Turkestan, who has requested that it be published anonymously in order to protect him from reprisals from the authorities.]

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