beards from boarding buses in the northwestern city of Karamay...…Urumqi ban….cigarette lighters, yogurt and water,
in a bid to prevent violent attacks.….
We are admittedly in favor of banning religion-inspired parties. After receiving feedback from liberty-conscious people we have reformed a bit (all lefty-s are secret Stalinists) and propose a more incremental (and hopefully, practical) approach.
We have in mind a directive principle (constitutionally desirable but not enforceable, just like the uniform civil code) that India being a federation of states, all political parties (as represented by their state units) must strive for cross-community representation both in primary membership as well as candidates for positions at all levels (gram-panchayat, municipality, state assembly).
A nationally recognized party (there are specific qualification rules in place) must (in addition to the above) work towards having a designated number of cross-community candidates for Lok/Rajya Sabha. Currently, the BJP does not have a single muslim MP in the Lok Sabha (there were a few muslim BJP candidates), and only a couple of MPs in the Rajya Sabha.
Thus in Bengal, where muslims are 40% of the population, the BJP has to ensure a certain minimum of party members and candidates which are muslims. Same goes for hindu representation in Muslim League (Kerala), AUDF (Asom), AMIM (Telengana), National Conference (Jammu and Kashmir) and Akali Dal (Punjab). If the minority numbers fall below some threshold in a state this principle may not apply.
The idea is to encourage broad based agenda for political parties and discourage polarization as a vote-winning approach. If we do not take this seriously then the social fabric will continue to be damaged over time. Food for thought.
There is another way ahead and the Chicoms have just indicated how they would like to tackle the “diversity problem.” We feel that such a heavy-handed approach is counter-productive, but it is certainly better than shooting/starving tens of thousands of people (like what is going on in Iraq right now). Not that the Chicoms are shy about killing, 59 people were gunned down in reaction to the recent uprising last week.
A city in China’s restive western region of Xinjiang has banned
people with head scarves, veils and long beards from boarding buses, as
the government battles unrest with a policy that critics said
discriminates against Muslims.
Xinjiang, home to the Muslim
Uighur people who speak a Turkic language, has been beset for years by
violence that the government blames on Islamist militants or
Authorities will prohibit five types of passengers —
those who wear veils, head scarves, a loose-fitting garment called a
jilbab, clothing with the crescent moon and star, and those with long
beards – from boarding buses in the northwestern city of Karamay, state
The crescent moon and star symbol of Islam features
on many national flags, besides being used by groups China says want to
set up an independent state called East Turkestan.
The rules were
intended to help strengthen security through August 20 during an
athletics event and would be enforced by security teams, the ruling
Communist Party-run Karamay Daily said on Monday. “Those who do not comply, especially those five types of passengers, will be reported to the police,” the paper said.
July, authorities in Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi banned bus passengers
from carrying items ranging from cigarette lighters to yogurt and water,
in a bid to prevent violent attacks.
Exiled Uighur groups and
human rights activists say the government’s repressive policies in
Xinjiang, including controls on Islam, have provoked unrest, a claim
“Officials in Karamay city are endorsing an
openly racist and discriminatory policy aimed at ordinary Uighur
people,” Alim Seytoff, the president of the Washington-based Uyghur
American Association, said in an emailed statement.
Uighur women dress in much the same casual style as those elsewhere in
China, some have begun to wear the full veil, a garment more common in
Pakistan or Afghanistan than in Xinjiang.
Police have offered money for tips on everything from “violent terrorism training” to individuals who grow long beards.
have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the past 18 months, but tight
security makes it almost impossible for journalists to make independent
assessments of the violence.
About 100 people were killed when
knife-wielding attackers staged assaults in two towns in the region’s
south in late July, state media said, including 59 “terrorists” shot
dead by police.
Chinese police gunned down 59 people and
arrested 215 during a violent uprising last week in the Xinjiang region,
the government said Sunday, in a statement that shed fresh light on
what dissident groups had earlier described as a major clash in the
July 28, unnamed assailants attacked civilians, state buildings and
vehicles in two Xinjiang towns, including Elixhu, according to police
descriptions reported by the government-run Xinhua news agency.
96 people who were killed during the attack. Sunday’s statement called
the assailants terrorists and said the attack had foreign support.
new figures, which emerged from a high-level meeting of the Communist
Party over the weekend in Xinjiang, according to Xinhua, illustrate the
seriousness of continued violence in China’s largely Muslim province of
Xinjiang. The area abuts Central Asia and has seen minor clashes
assailants displayed banners declaring a “holy war” and were coordinated
by a banned group called East Turkestan Islamic Movement that China’s
government says aims to make Xinjiang independent. Sunday’s report said
civilians were stopped at roadblocks and slashed with knives if they
refused to join the rally.
mastermind of the attack was Nuramat Sawut, the report said. Xinhua
described him as the local leader of the movement and responsible in the
past year for spreading audio and video calls for separatism and
religious extremism. Mr. Sawut wasn’t reachable and Xinhua’s report
didn’t say whether he specifically participated in the attacks.
report didn’t say where overseas the group had obtained assistance,
though in the past China’s government has cited training of separatists
by religious extremists in Pakistan.
and Xinjiang’s Turkic-speaking, mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic group have
remained high for years, with religious, political and economic
spilled outside Xinjiang and appeared to target civilians, China’s
government in May launched a one-year crackdown on terrorism and has
since reported numerous raids, arrests and clashes, often involving
Chinese control the government and economy, crimp religious activity and
are too aggressive with policing. China’s government cites its
financial investments in the region.and says only a small majority of
Xinjiang’s people are responsible for the troubles.
last week’s clash, near the city of Yarkand, took place a day before
the mostly Muslim area was set to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
with knives rampaged through town slashing people and smashing symbols
of government power, state media said. In its initial reporting on the
attack, Xinhua had said dozens of civilians were killed while at least
36 cars were smashed or set on fire. The initial report also called it
“an organized, premeditated and carefully planned terrorist attack of
vile nature and tremendous violence.”
Later in the week, assailants, identified by Chinese authorities as Uighurs, knifed to death the government-appointed imam of Id Kah Mosque in the nearby city of Kashgar. On Friday, police in Xinjiang had shot dead nine suspected terrorists and captured another in Xinjiang’s Hotan prefecture.