China’s Oppression of Muslims – The Weak Link in the Sino-Islamic Alliance
India lives in a dangerous neighborhood. The two biggest threats to India’s security and civilizational integrity are from Islamic fundamentalism originating to its west and Chinese expansionism in the north and the east.
Islam has always found India to be an attractive conquest. In fact, large parts of the Indian subcontinent have lost all traces of their dharmic past and are now completely Muslim. The partition of 1947 put an official stamp on the loss of these lands to the Indic civilization. The areas of India that have not fallen under Islamic rule are still being eyed covetously as unfinished business by those who believe in the prophecy of “Ghazwa-e-Hind”.
China and India, on the other hand, have not been direct rivals over the last several thousand years. Geography, in the form of the mighty Himalayas and the vast inhospitable Tibetan plateau, has conspired to keep these two giants away from each other. However, modern geopolitics, the advances in technology, and China’s growing footprint in India’s neighborhood have now created a more direct rivalry.
These two threats are ominous enough by themselves, but now for the first time in history, they are joining hands. China and Pakistan have become very close allies over the years, largely driven by their mutual hostility towards India.
Pakistan’s nuclear weapon and missile programs have been supported by China. The Pakistani military now sources a large part of its hardware from China. On the other hand, Pakistan has allowed China free rein to invest in strategic infrastructure in the country. The huge amounts of money that China has poured in serves to prop up Pakistan’s tottering economy, even as Pakistan is likely to ultimately end up being severely indebted to China, thus becoming a de facto colony.
This unholy nexus is gradually building a noose with which to strangle India. It combines China’s military, political, and economic muscle with the rabid Islamic fundamentalism of Pakistan, thereby making it a potent threat. While the menace is real, the good news is that there are abundant fissures in the Sino-Islamic nexus for India to exploit and cut the proverbial noose.
History is replete with instances of nations with diametrically opposing values and viewpoints allying against a common enemy. Capitalist America and the Communist Soviet Union fought alongside in the war against Nazi Germany, only to fall out to become the bitterest rivals once the common enemy was defeated.
A factor that India must capitalize on is that of all the major countries in the world, China is the most repressive towards Islam. Unbeknownst to many, China quietly and silently works towards suppressing the voice of its small Muslim minority. Because it is a totalitarian society, unlike India, it is able to keep this oppression under the radar with no human rights groups and liberal intellectuals rising in protest and highlighting the atrocities. In addition, the world community is also inexplicably silent on the matter. Islamic fundamentalists who rail against perceived injustices against Muslims in democratic countries are silent when it comes to China.
What China is doing to the Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang province, pales in comparison to anything Israel might be doing to the Palestinians. For example, China has banned beards and veils in the province. They have put in place laws that actively discriminate against the Uighurs. In fact, the Uighur population has fallen from 80% in 1945 to only 43% today in the province of Xinjiang due to incentives given to the Hans to migrate there. Contrast this with India’s firm adherence to Article 370 that forbids non-Kashmiris from purchasing property in Kashmir.
In yet another act of selective violation of civil liberties, Muslims are now required to install surveillance apps on their phones. This allows authorities to monitor their online activity and watch out for any signs of dangerous behavior.
China has also banned Islamic names and instituted measures that make fasting virtually impossible during Ramadan. All these actions are pointers to China’s deep discomfort with Islam.Pakistan at this time is not merely looking the other way in the face of this oppression of Muslims. It is actively in bed with China and is, in fact, giving China a foothold in the subcontinent, something it has not been able to achieve in 5,000 years of recorded civilization.
Surprisingly, many common Pakistanis refuse to believe that Muslims are persecuted in China. They are completely blinded by their hatred for India and believe that China will help them prevail over India. But here we have all these facts that are begging to be exposed in a big way to the larger Muslim world, stirring up a storm of emotions and outrage.
India is in a state of war with Pakistan and China. Not only are the borders tense, both countries constantly seek opportunities to undermine Indian interests. It is time for India to stop pulling its punches and start working towards dismantling the unnatural alliance. India must deploy psychological warfare to wean away the Pakistani people from their admiration and love of China.
A key element of these psyops would be to make the Pakistani people aware of the hypocrisy of their own leadership. The fundamentalism of the common Pakistani must be exploited to put pressure on the Pakistani government to distance itself from its cozy alliance with Islam hating China.
China is making deep inroads into Pakistan. It is already demanding special privileges and protections for its investments and citizens. The mistrust and “otherness” is amply evident. If its past conduct is an indication, as it strengthens its hold on Pakistan, it will inevitably start pushing back against Islamic ways and start enforcing its own values. If India succeeds in creating the right awareness on the ground in Pakistan, it will help accelerate the fallout from the resentment the Pakistani masses will feel as a result of their collision with the “godless” Chinese juggernaut. This is a huge opportunity for India, which the country must adroitly nurture and exploit.
The fundamental incompatibility between Islam and China will serve as the basis to undermine this growing alliance against India. The interplay between China and the Islamic world has a direct bearing on the security of India and the health of our civilization. Highlighting the prevailing persecution of Islam in China could serve to drive a wedge between the two, thereby enhancing India’s own security and ensuring that as India reclaims primacy in the subcontinent, yet another foreign power does not arrive on the scene to thwart the narrative.
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