In Name Only

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A good example of policy of double standards is the phrase introduced into use by the British writer Gerald Symour in his work Harry’s Game in 1975, namely “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. Back in the 1970s we didn’t even know that Islam existed and Harry’s Game is not about the people called today jihadists by the media. In fact, it’s about a British cabinet member gunned down by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and the agent who tracks the killer. Today, 45 years later and after almost 20-year-long war on terror waged by the USA and allies, we have more terror than ever and we can’t help thinking Seymour’s affirmation still carries weight. It can also inspire variations such as “one man’s activist is another man’s traitor”, and so on.

These days one frequently comes across headlines such as:

  • One million Muslim Uighurs may have been detained by the Chinese government – where’s the global outrage?
  • Former Xinjiang teacher claims brainwashing and abuse inside mass detention centers
  • Lawmakers Say Trump Administration Has Taken ‘No Meaningful Action’ on China’s Abuse of Muslims
  • U.N. says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps
  • US considers sanctions on China over treatment of Uighurs
  •  China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other, Totalitarian determination and modern technology have produced a massive abuse of human rights

As you can imagine such articles will be heart-wrenching but before you draw conclusions take the sage advice of a certain writer, long dead: “Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.” Taking this advice is not that difficult, providing you care to look at the other side of the coin in order to have the complete, or at least more complete, picture. We could start this task with a reference to one Rebiya Kadeer, born in 1946 in Xinjiang, China, in the photos below –one with Bush, the middle one with Dalai Lama (who, although incarnation of God, cannot avoid wearing glasses) and the one on the right –see for yourself.

Kadeer became a millionaire in the 1980s through her real estate holdings and ownership of a multinational conglomerate. She held various positions in China’s parliament and other political institutions before being arrested in 1999 for, according to the Chinese authorities, sending confidential internal reference reports to her husband, who worked in the United States as a pro-East Turkistan independence broadcaster. After she fled to the United States in 2005 on compassionate release, Kadeer assumed leadership positions in overseas Uyghur organizations such as the World Uyghur Congress.

The United States authorities will go to any lengths to hurt China. For the past 70 years “the yellow threat” has been banged into our heads in various ways, and so much so that many have firmly believed. At the height of Korean War, general Douglas MacArthur, the emperor of Japan at the time, inquired about how many atomic bombs it would take to bomb China off this planet for the crime of having aided North Korea. Hence, any Chinese dissident is treated like a hero, awarded prizes, nominated for more prizes, granted interviews, solidarity and sympathy. Although masses are easily taken in, it’s not about civil rights or fight for independence. It’s all about politics, and more specifically –economy, and one of the ways to eliminate competition is to stir trouble for competitors in any way conceivable.

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And we mean –any way. Below, a photograph of Uighurs among the jihadists fighting in Syria.

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The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) operates as the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), which is also known as “Katibat Turkistani.” Its members have trained with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. On July 28, 2016, TIP became an official faction of Jabhat Al Nusra, which is, in fact, al-Qaeda operating in Syria under different names, this one being the latest as far as can be checked.

President Erdogan firmly backed the US covert operations in Syria and facilitated the build-up of militant armies in southern Turkey. Turkey officially became the transit point of all international terrorists, Syria being the final destination. Recent scandals reveal the sophistication of the organized smuggling rings being run in and out of Syria via Turkey. Up to 5,000 ethnic Uighurs from China have been fighting in Syria arm in arm with jihadists as of May 2017, aided and abetted by the “coalition” led by the USA, the same USA so worried about human rights abuse in China. Although the war in Syria is now called “civil” war, it started as “Arab Spring” –a fight for freedom and democracy but its true objectives were bloodshed, destruction and instability. What civil war can there be with fighters from several ex-Soviet republics and Uighurs, apart from Arab and western countries? Why didn’t they go Saudi Arabia, which is where the caliphate should be? And now, after having turned large parts of the Middle East into ruins, they, apparently, have “moved” to Afghanistan and South Asia, much closer to Chinese borders.

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The above reality of the present-day Syria is the result of the alluring and empty promises which were never meant to be kept. As Muslims, Uighurs do not need independence. Islam is not about being independent. If they are believers and wish to practise Islam, they need to follow the example of Chechnya, whose inhabitants negotiated with Russia and arrived at a solution so disturbing to the USA that up till now they are periodically hit with sanctions –both the Chechens and the Russian, that is, because they decided not to play into the US hands. So much for independence and freedom.

The US and allies have always followed the policy of double standards. A double standard is the application of different sets of principles for circumstances that are, in principle, the same. Furthermore, for it to be double it should be known what philosophy or belief system has provided the principles applied to the circumstances which are basically the same. If similar-looking situations have been treated differently and there is no truth or fact that distinguishes those situations, then a double standard has been applied.

Thus, the United States reserves the right to set up Guantanamo for individuals whom they describe as extremely dangerous terrorists but China is expected to tolerate potential terrorists near its borders and refrain from any action. In case it doesn’t, China will be stigmatized in the strongest possible terms.

Bashar al Asad was called “the butcher of Syria” by western media but in case of Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who butchered Kashoggi, we were told to wait until the investigation had been completed, and we’ve been waiting ever since.

The US and its western allied governments have accused the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative of being neocolonial due to what they allege as China practice of debt trap diplomacy to fund the initiative’s infrastructure projects. Yet the USA has already launched its European Recapitalisation Incentive Programme, which involves Washington offering Eastern European countries cash to purchase American weaponry in exchange for their giving up Russian and the Chinese-made arms.

 Mothers breastfeeding their babies have been relegated to nursing or lactation rooms in public places (USA Today, 12 October 2018) but women in all public places can (practically) bare their breasts without anyone feeling awkward, themselves least of all.

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All this is possible, as Seymour seems to have guessed, when no belief system provides principles according to which evaluation would be possible. In other words, when it is tacitly accepted that truth, or one standard, doesn’t exist. Someone who affirms one standard does exist is a dictator or a fundamentalist. Double standards allow for many standards, and this is called democracy for which millions have already died. Thus, we have freedom, democracy, civil rights and independence in name only, the result being a lot of terrorism. Not only in name.

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