View Full Version : Mal igisidin oghri küchlük!

01-06-09, 08:05

01-06-09, 16:52

yuqurida dushmen hazirlighan teshwiqat matiriyalining xelqara tesiri towendiki wetensatquch bayanattin kop yaxshi.xitay xotunning yuriki chiqip ketken we menngu untulmaydighanliqini dunyagha jakalighan. Emma towendiki uyghur xanimning bayanati xitaylarni xatirjem SHERQIY TURKISTANGHA KELISHKE PISXILOGIYILIK SHARAIT HAZIRLAP BERIDU, XUDDI BAHARGULNING
'bizning shinjang yaxshi jay'-dep xitayche oqughan naxshisidekla, Hetta uningdinmu weten satquch!

Eqli bar kishi yuquridiki videoni korup uyghur xelqige rexmet eytidu.
Emma towendiki weten satquch, xainlarche bayanatni oqup seskinidu we lenet oquydu!
Xelqimiz wetensatquchlarni haman jazalaydu,u waqit mesilisi. Wetensatquchlar axiri jezmen reswa bolidu.
Rabiyä Qadir in Il Manifesto: “Independence is impossible”
When I started studying Xinjiang, I knew I would need a broad array of linguistic resources. I never imagined I would read so much in Italian.

Here is my translation, doubtless below par, of a recent interview with Rabiyä Qadir (Rebiya Kadeer, رابىيە قادىر) published on 6 May 2009 in the Italian Communist daily Il Manifesto. Commentary follows.

Independence is impossible, we will struggle for autonomy

Rebiya Kadeer has lived her sixty years as though on a rollercoaster. The leader-in-exile of the Uyghurs of Xinjiang (a region of northwestern China, with a Muslim majority) has experienced long years of poverty and a brief, enormous wealth as a result of her trade throughout China; the honor of a seat in the National People’s Congress and the suffering of five years in police detention. These and other chapters of Kadeer’s life – three times a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize – are recounted in her biography, The Gentle Warrior [Die Himmelsstürmerin], just published by Corbaccio. A member of the Transnational Radical Party, on Monday and Tuesday, the “Mother of the Uyghurs,” as she likes to call herself, was in Rome, where she yesterday took part in a meeting of the Committee for Human Rights of the Chamber of Deputies. Over the next few days, she will address the assembly of the World Uyghur Congress, where her reconfirmation as President appears decided. We have discussed with Kadeer the strategies of the movement and the situation in Xinjiang, where the Uyghurs (about 8 million) complain of an attempt to assimilate them on the part of Beijing.

In the most recent stage of your life, you lead the World Uyghur Congress (WUC). What mark have you left while at the top of the umbrella of this Uyghur diaspora organization?

At the end of 2006, my objective had been to unite all of the Uyghurs dispersed across the four corners of the world, creating various associations that would be recognized in the World Uyghur Congress. These groups are making the world aware of the problems of our people and are busy promoting our language, history, and culture among the new generation forced to live far from East Turkestan (the name by which the Uyghurs call Xinjiang –ed.). And in the last three years, for the first time, our petitions were brought to the attention of the Parliament of the European Union, United States, and Germany, where I had the opportunity to speak.

Have you managed to maintain contacts with Xinjiang, despite the strict security measures enacted by the authorities in Beijing?

Since we have been branded a “terrorist organization” by China, it has been particularly difficult. Nevertheless, we have our ways. This is despite the fact that anyone who tries to access an internet page that talks about me or our organization will be treated as a “terrorist.”

Do you not believe that China’s economic development – which has brought construction and infrastructure to Xinjiang – is also to the benefit of the Uyghurs?

The only advantage in the development of East Turkestan is Beijing’s. While our natural resources – natural gas, petroleum, uranium, and others – are transferred to the Interior, we Uyghurs are excluded from the labor market and, through the prohibition of instruction in the Uyghur language, our culture will be wiped out. The economic marginalization of the Uyghurs has been achieved through the bingtuan [Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps – trans.], an enormous organization for military production – distributed mainly along the border with Central Asia – is intended to provide homes and work for millions of Han immigrants.

In your book, you recount the spontaneous protests staged during the 80s and 90s by the Uyghur population against the presence of Han colonizers. What about today?

Now, the only expressions of dissent that are allowed are those abroad. Since the opening up of the 80s and 90s, we have returned to a situation similar to that of the Cultural Revolution.

How are their relations with the Han, the ethnic majority in China?

They can have excellent relations with the Han, of understanding and of mutual respect. But the situation changed with the immigration to East Turkestan. Here we have made life impossible: The very fact of discussing politics, the problems of our people, brings the Uyghurs to be labeled as “separatists,” “Islamic fundamentalists,” “terrorists.”

Before the Olympics in August 2008, Beijing had distributed news of attacks in Xinjiang. What information do you have about these events?

They were staged. What we must stress is that[?], before the Games, 15 000 Uyghurs were arrested and locked up under accusations of “terrorism.” Thanks to the platform offered by the more important sports events, the Beijing authorities had manufactured a belief around the world that there were thousands of terrorists in East Turkestan, thus legitimizing further oppressive constraints on our people.

Last February, the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while visiting Beijing, said: We will pressure for human rights, but, in these economic times, other things come first. Have you lost your chief ally?

Unfortunately, at this time, the economic crisis is at the top of the agenda for the great powers. But our pressure on the State Department has continued, and I trust that we can continue to receive the support that we need from Washington.

You protested because Islamabad has recently extradited to Beijing nine Uyghurs who trained in Pakistan to attack China. Doesn’t Beijing have the right to defend itself?

In recent years, Pakistan extradited 21 Uyghurs captured in Afghanistan to the United States. These people were then declared innocent by Washington: Some of them found asylum in Albania, and the others still await freedom.

Let us leave the alleged terrorists aside. Are you not afraid that, in the condition of isolation in which Xinjiang has been constrained, there may have prevailed among its people a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam?

Traditionally, the Uyghurs have had nothing to do with fundamentalism. Every day, however, in East Turkestan, some Uyghurs are arrested because they have been accused of being Islamic fundamentalists. For Beijing, a “terrorist” and an “integralist” [one who adheres to an extreme or traditionalist interpretation of Islam, rather pejorative; some prefer "active Islam" or "political Islam" – trans.] are the same thing. These are labels that are applied to hide their policies towards us: prohibition on the distribution of Uyghur literature, the forced transportation of Uyghur girls into the Chinese interior, birth control, limitations on Islamic practice, immigration of millions of Han and the lack of work for us, execution of political prisoners. Xinjiang is the only region of China where they still condone death sentence for political prisoners.

If China grants real autonomy, will you renounce the dream of an independent East Turkestan?

We demand freedom. Today, only a minority of our people hope for independence. We fight for a true autonomy, such as that demanded by the Dalai Lama for Tibet. And this autonomy can only be obtained within a more general process: that of the democratization of China, one that benefits the whole population, not only the Uyghurs. If they give us liberty, we would be prepared to live with the millions of Han settlers who have been sent to our homeland.

Some thoughts:

Rabiyä Qadir is a politician. Just as the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, Wen Jiabao, Tarja Halonen, Abdullah Öcalan or anyone else in a position of leadership must satisfy the demands and play to the sentiments of a diverse community, so must she. Previously, it has been easier to dismiss her as a figurehead, an actor in political theater, prone to yelling and ranting and riling up her base of angry Uyghurs, pan-Turkists, sympathetic Westerners, etc. In this interview, Rabiyä Qadir comes across as a much savvier player. The talking points are broadly the same, but she makes some key concessions.

The most surprising is when she declares that the goal of her movement is not independence, but human rights and autonomy, not only for Uyghurs, but for all of China. This is not just an imitation of the policies of the Dalai Lama, who is an obvious point of comparison; that, I think, is a useful conceit for helping a European audience understand her movement and the situation in her homeland. Rather, this broader humanitarian goal has been a theme of Rabiyä Qadir’s for some time, albeit one not usually shared or emphasized by the broader Uyghur or East Turkestan movement. Early on, she framed herself not only as the “Mother of the Uyghurs,” taking a page from the early modern nationalist playbook digested fully by her cohorts abroad, but also as someone fighting for the rights of everyone in Xinjiang, even Han Chinese. The Uyghur independence movement, as I know it, is a fractious organization staffed by elites whose navel-gazing obsessions with self-definition prevent it from being taken seriously or achieving much internationally. If Rabiyä Qadir can successfully get them to become a much more broadly inclusive organization, then she may prove to be the leader the movement needs to gain real political traction. This pragmatic and less overtly hostile or racist stance gives the Uyghur rights/independence movement a much more mature face.

Rabiyä Qadir also dodges a sensitive question about the PRC’s right to defend itself. What would happen if she conceded that point? It would be of no help to Beijing, which has no interest in presenting her as an authority figure. It would certainly upset a certain section of her base, particularly actual supporters of Islamic fundamentalist and/or terrorist groups operating in or on behalf of East Turkestan. These are people who, I think, are not yet in the company of the broader, more ethno-nationalistic movement, but who could be drawn into it and away from violent action. This may account for her admonishment of the PRC for conflating terrorists and Islamic activists. I think, rather, that she did not want to say “No.” If Rabiyä Qadir claimed that the PRC has no right to defend itself, she would lose credibility as a mature leader and certainly provide fodder for PRC propagandists who, as she frequently reminds us, label her a “terrorist.”

Overall, I think we are seeing Rabiyä Qadir come into her own as a leader. At the very least, she is getting better advice on statesmanship. It is somewhat sad, I think, to see the Uyghur/East Turkestani movement give up on its central hope of a free and independent state, one that has always been imagined with lofty ideals in mind. This new vision, however, demonstrates that the movement is not entirely mired in the pre-1949 past, but that certain influential segments of it are willing to engage with present-day political realities.