Netizen Voices: “Why Not Call Them Chinese Terrorists?”

After the violent attack on the Kunming Railway Station last weekend, China’s state media warned that “the eastward expansion of Xinjiang terrorism is accelerating”. Looking to China’s ethnically distinct and resource rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, netizen 思想精荟 drew attention to a linguistic contradiction:

思想精荟: Forwarded from a Xinjiang Uyghur’s Weixin: “If Xinjiang’s petroleum is Chinese petroleum, Xinjiang’s natural gas is Chinese natural gas, and Xinjiang’s minerals are Chinese assets, why aren’t Xinjiang’s terrorists called Chinese terrorists?”… We should calmly consider his words [pondering][pondering]

转自一位新疆维吾尔族的微信:「新疆的石油叫(中国石油),新疆的天然气叫(中国天然气),新疆的矿产叫(中国资产),那么为什么就不能把新疆的恐怖分子叫(中国恐怖分子)。。。。。我们是否应该冷静的想想他说的话[思考][思考]@迟夙生律师@徐昕@元芳视角@博联社马晓霖

While the Kunming attack has potential to further strain historically tense relations between China’s Uyghur and Han populations, state media has also been encouraging the public to avoid the “irrational and biased mindset” of blaming all Uyghurs for the work of a few extremists. Just as 思想精荟 asked his followers to take a moment for consideration, other Chinese netizens are encouraging deeper reflection on the recent attack. Weibo user Happy张江 forwarded the following Renren post to Sina Weibo, where it is still circulating:

Happy张江: “Mutton Kebabs and Raisins” In regards to the Kunming attack and ethnic minorities, please spend 3 minutes in silence. Have a look at this post.

【羊肉串与葡萄干】关于昆明砍杀与少数民族,请花3分钟静静读完。看原贴

Mutton Kebabs and Raisins

羊肉串与葡萄干

1. Near the subway station at Zhujiang Road in Nanjing, there is a mosque, and next to that a mutton kebab shop owned by some Xinjiang people. The kebabs are very tasty. Among the several people in the restaurant, there was a young man who spoke pretty good Mandarin, and always greeted customers very warmly. Every time I passed by, I’d order 20 yuan in kebabs, then go get rice and chili pepper, dried bean curd and shredded meat, or a beef soup and potstickers. Makes a good feast for dinner.

When I returned to Wuhan after graduation, I couldn’t find such good mutton kebab. My mouth waters every time I think of it.

I don’t know why, but every time something comes up about Xinjiang, I think of the kebab shop and that warm young man.

南京珠江路地铁站边上有个清真寺,清真寺边上有家新疆人开的羊肉串馆子,烤得非常好吃。店里有几个人,其中有一个小伙子汉话说得不错,总是很热情的招呼过路的客人。每次路过,我都会烤20块钱的肉,再去老头盖浇叫上一份青椒香干肉丝盖饭或者去燕子牛肉汤馆来一份牛肉汤和锅贴,这就是一顿丰盛的晚餐了。

毕业回武汉之后,我就再也没吃过这么好的羊肉串,现在想起来,还是口水直流。

不知道为什么,每次新疆出事情,我脑子里都会闪过那家的羊肉串,和那个热情的小伙子。

2. In recent years, you rarely see Xinjiang folks selling nut cake in Wuhan anymore. They’ve switched to raisins and various Xinjiang-style dried fruits. I once tried buying raisins from them near Wuhan University. 25 yuan for 500 grams. I paid 10 yuan, and when I weighed it at home, it was exactly 200 grams.

Unlike the nut cake vendors, dried fruit vendors are seldom seen working together with a large group of people, they mostly vend alone. I’ve even seen a Xinjiang woman, face covered in hijab, selling dried fruits by herself on the street of Wuhan, right next to Hubuxiang.

这几年,武汉已经不怎么能看到卖切糕的新疆人了,人家现在改卖葡萄干,以及各色新疆特色干果。我曾经试验性的在武大门口买过一次葡萄干,25一斤,我买了10块钱的,回来一称,正好四两。

卖干果不像卖切糕,已经很少见到一群人一起卖了,大多是一个人单独的看摊子。我甚至在武汉的街头看到过独身的新疆女人卖干果,还带着面纱。就在户部巷边上。

3. After the July 5 Incident [2009 Urumqi Riots], two things made deep impressions on me.

The first was the failed hijacking attempt on China Southern Airlines. The situation was very dangerous. A group of terrorists on the flight were communicating in Uyghur about the hijacking. Another group of Uyghurs figured out their plan, took the lead, and foiled the attack along with a group of Han people.

The other thing was the terrorist attack in Xinjiang after the July 5 Incident. During the attack, more than 50% of the victims were Uyghurs, and of the policemen who died protecting Han and Uyghur people alike, some were Uyghurs as well.

75之后,有两件事情我印象很深。

第一件事是南航的劫机未遂事件。

当时的情况其实很险恶,一群预谋已久的恐怖分子在飞机上用维语沟通劫机安排,另一群维族人听懂了他们的图谋,他们率先动作起来,和一群汉人一起把这起劫机制止了。

4. The terrorists who launched attacks in Xinjiang, Beijing, and Kunming are not the same people as the Uyghur policemen and Uyghur heroes who fought the hijackers, or the young men who sell mutton kebabs, or even those selling nut cake.

在新疆、北京和昆明搞袭击的恐怖分子,和牺牲的维族干警不是一路人,和与劫机犯搏斗的维族英雄不是一路人,和卖羊肉串的小伙子不是一路人,甚至和卖切糕的也不是一路人。

5. My point is, the situation in Xinjiang is definitely more complicated than I’ve stated above. How do we unite the forces that can be united, how do we clean up more-than-a-handful of terrorists? It’s a very complicated situation. Simply treating all Uyghurs harshly will not solve the problem, but rather will push those mentioned in Section 4 over to the terrorists’ side.

我的意思是说,新疆的形式肯定比我讲的还要复杂,如何团结可以团结的力量,如何收拾那些搞极端主义的不小的一撮,是一个很复杂的事情。简单的喊打喊杀,不但不能解决问题,还会把4中提到的人往恐怖分子那边推。

Translated by Mengyu Dong.

The following reply to Happy张江‘s post was censored by Sina.

崔小平律师:If everyone really had a sense of citizenship to a single country, there would be no opposition among different ethnic groups. // @薛明波: // @丷沄農夫: Make correct distinctions, avoid making more enemies // @一之黑亚离子: ‘Uyghur’ is not the same thing as ‘Muslim’; ‘Muslim’ is not the same thing as ‘terrorist.’

如果真正有大家都是一个国家公民的意识,就不会因民族不同而对立。//@薛明波: //@丷沄農夫:正确区分,避免扩大树敌//@一之黑亚离子:维吾尔族不等于穆斯林信徒,穆斯林信徒不等于恐怖份子。

Another Weibo user commented on the the Soviet ethnic policy that influenced China’s:

吴钩V:Lenin and Stalin came up with the most idiotic ethnic policy in all of history. All modern multi-ethnic nations do everything possible to temper the differences among various ethnic groups in effort to create a political nationality based on citizenship, like the United States. But the Leninist-Stalinist approach is the complete opposite—do everything in your power to highlight all the nominal and political differences between the various ethnic groups. Even if you look at the issue from the standpoint of a ruler, this approach is baffling.

有史以来,最愚蠢的民族政策,是列宁-斯大林发明的。本来任何现代多民族国家,都会千方百计淡化民族差别,而致力于塑造出一个基于公民身份的政治民族,如美利坚民族。但列斯的做法,恰恰相反,居然是千方百计凸显各民族的名义差异、政策差异。即使站在统治者的立场考虑,这一做法也是莫名其妙的。

Weibo user 民主法治博爱‘s question about security measures in Kunming was censored by Sina:

民主法治博爱: Situated within a one-kilometer radius of the Kunming Railway Station are the following organizations: the Kunming Railway Police Department; the Railway Station Squadron of the Kunming Transportation Police and the Beijing Road Police Station. Additionally, there are members of the Armed Police and other security personnel stationed at the railway station, plus, heightened security due to the ASEAN Expo and the Two Sessions… Here’s my comment: With this kind of security, if you have individuals carrying huge knives—even if the knives are hidden—if there are a dozen or so individuals wearing the same strange black clothing, shouldn’t they have been intercepted and interrogated much earlier [before carrying out the attack]? Can any relevant departments provide an explanation?

在昆明火车站方圆一公里左右范围内有以下机构:昆明铁路公安处,昆明交警支队火车站中队,北京路派出所,另有火车站驻守的武警和保安等,加上南博会和两会安保升级…评:这样的安保,别说手持大刀,就算把刀藏起来,十几个身着黑色怪异统一服饰的人,理应早就被拦截盘查啊?有关部门能解释一下吗?

Translated by Little Bluegill.