The Genocide That Isn’t

Uyghur fighters for the Turkestan Islamic Party in Syria, 2017.

By Art Stepanian, Toronto, 5 May 2021

As many other aspects of our lives, language too is inflated–sometimes to the point of non-recognition. Politicians, marketers, lobbyists, special-interest groups, and bureaucrats distort the meaning of words to advance their interests or to attract eye-balls. Thus, when a psychopath or a religious fanatic kills four people in a school yard or at a bar, the crime becomes a massacre. Viral infection becomes pandemic, a celebrity magazine hails a putative beef cake as the “sexiest man in the world,” until he is shoved a few months later for another “sexiest” avatar. The opposite is also true as a riot becomes “protest” and invasion becomes “necessary police action.”

This is by way of ushering the subject of genocide or more precisely when is a genocide not genocide? Consider the “Cambodian Genocide.” There was no such calamity. In the mid-‘70s, the junta in that country began to transform Cambodia into a socialist agrarian society. The junta and their followers, called Khmer Rouge, killed nearly 2 million fellow Cambodians who had opposed the radical transformation of their country. The Khmer Rouge had obviously no intention to eliminate their race. The current “Uyghur Genocide” is also a misleading descriptive of what’s happening in the northwest Xinjiang province of China. The misuse of these words is particularly galling since English—with a reservoir of more than one-million words—offers numerous precise descriptive words.

The following is the dictionary definition of genocide: “The deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying the nation or group.” Internment camps for indoctrination, ban of political Islam, the monitoring of militant mosques for subversive activities, restricting movement, and data collection on Uyghurs are not genocide. The West knows there’s no Uyghur genocide but since it wants to pressure China, the oppression of Uyghurs has been marketed as genocide. Thus, Canada’s Uighur Rights Advocacy Project is funded by the Washington-based National Endowment Fund for Democracy (NED). Most of NED’s budget is covered by the U.S government.

While not defending China’s oppression in Xinjiang, it’s important to consider these facts:

  1. The aim of the Uyghur leadership (“Turkestan Islamic Party”) is to separate from China. It calls Xinjiang “East Turkistan.” The nomenclature is of recent coinage.
  2. While Xinjiang has a population of 11 million, it covers one-sixth of China’s area and is resource rich. There is no way 1.4-billion China would sit by and watch one-Xianjing slip away into the hands of a hostile regime.
  3. The first inhabitants of the territory (the Indo-European Tocharians) arrived in the region more than a millennia before the birth of Christ. They were succeeded by another Indo-European nation (Yuezhi.) Then came the Han Chinese. In the 9th century the Uyghurs took over the region.
  4. In 1759 the Qing Chinese dynasty re-conquered the region and named it Xinjiang (“New Territories”).
  5. The region has another ethnic group: the Buddhist Dzungaras. The pacific community doesn’t want to be ruled by a group of fanatical Islamists.
  6. While they proclaim to be Turkic, Uyghur DNA includes Ossetian, Iranian, and even Eastern-Mediterranean strains.
  7. Although the Uyghurs believe they have the right to the whole province, in the past 4,000 years they have briefly ruled the territory.
  8. Although China opposes nationwide organizations (Beijing considers them potential rivals), it recognizes five religions, including Islam. What Beijing opposes in Xinjiang is the separatist plot couched in religion.
  9. Until Oct. 2020 the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (the leading Uyghur political organization) was considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. The Islamist group became legit when U.S./China relations deteriorated.
  10. Uighur claims of Chinese oppression are often over the top. Uyghurs claim there are 430 concentration camps in Xianjing and that China has destroyed 16,000 mosques (65 percent of the total).

Although there’s no proof of genocide of the Uyghurs, the Western media parrot their governments’ party line. New Zealand is the only country in the Anglosphere (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States) that refuses to regard the treatment of Uighurs in China as genocide. The West also ignores that due to the excesses of political Islam in the province, Xinjiang has become a terrorist-exporting factory. Thousands of Uyghurs have moved to Turkey and to Syria to bring down the Assad regime. A famed Uyghur commander (Abu-Omar al-Turkestani) made a name for himself in battles in Aleppo and Latakia.

According to a Syrian-Armenian who was in Syria during the Civil War, “Uyghurs are the most vicious and barbaric fighters and terrorists among the Jihadi forces. They have no mercy whatsoever. They were often engaged in the fiercest clashes…they are also often engaged in sexual assault.” It would surprise no one if Uyghurs were among the mercenaries who beheaded and skinned Armenians in Artsakh. The fascist/racist Uyghurs are so eager to kill that they travel half the world (via Indonesia-Thailand-Malaysia-Turkey) to reach their killing fields.

Killing on behalf of Turkbeijan isn’t the only crime the Uyghurs have committed against Armenians in recent years. Uyghur’s livings in the West have placed themselves under the Turkish misinformation umbrella. Turks have tutored them in propaganda techniques and promoted their cause in government and media circles. By putting forward the so-called genocide of the Uyghur’s, Turkey and Azerbaijan aim is to push the “ancient” Armenian Genocide into the shadows. When the Turks and the Azeris tried to ban the teaching of the Armenian Genocide to history students in Toronto, the Uyghurs joined the campaign. The Uyghur point man in Canada is well-fed Mehmet Tohti who speaks in paragraphs and clichés which were creaking a decade ago. Before immigrating to Canada, Tohti lived in Turkey. How long did he live there? What did he do there?  He is Mr. Uyghur in a country where there are a few thousand Uyghur’s. Yet this newly-arrived small community gets huge coverage for its phony genocide, thanks to Turkbeijan diplomats.

In 2009 there was a massacre in Urumchi (the capital of Xinjiang) which witnessed the killing of 200 during an antigovernment riot. There has been no mass violence since. Yet, people continue to talk about the Uyghur Genocide as if it’s an uncontested fact. That a remote corner of China gets so much attention in the Western media and by Western politicians is one hint that a misinformation campaign is afoot. Of course, if someone points out the misnomer, he becomes an Islamophobe. That’s almost like becoming a non-person in the late and unlamented Soviet Union.

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