Thursday, October 8, 2009

Al-Qaeda declares holy war on China over repression of Uighurs

According to this Bloomberg article, Abu Yahya al-Libi, the alleged successor to Osama Bin Laden has declared a holy war against the Chinese state for its repression of its Uighur.

Abu Yahya al-Libi has been quoted saying:

"The state of atheism is heading to its fall.”

"China will suffer the same fate as the “Russian bear.”

How China is going to deal with this new threat remains to be seen. Also, how Abu Yahya al-Libi plans to wage this holy war is far from clear. Foreign policy buffs describe some obvious concerns such as the growth of the Xinjiang-based East Turkistan Islamic Movement, which is based in the Taliban-rules areas of Pakistan.

This declaration of sorts comes on the heels of The July riots in the capital of Xinjiang which were the deadliest in China in decades. Bloomberg writes, "Al-Libi’s speech, entitled 'East Turkistan, the Forgotten Wound,' echoed complaints of the Uighurs that decades of government-sponsored migration to the province is making them a minority in their homeland."

Personally, this blogger feels a threat such as a Pakistan based, anti-Chinese (Han) movement is not a major problem in the short-term, but it will no less force China to become more involved over the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

All eyes will be watching next week when members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization meet in Shanghai to discuss regional issues. This group includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Xinjiang, or East Turkistan, as many in the Muslim world refer to it lies at the heart of this grouping of Central Asian countries.

Click here to access Bloomberg's article on this topic