Datenbankeintrag: ‘Saved’ By State Terror: Gendered Violence And Propaganda In Xinjiang
Religionsverfolgung Zerstörung der Familie Überwachung Zwangsassimilation Überwachung zuhause durch „Angehörige“ Förderung interethnischer Eheschließung

‘Saved’ By State Terror: Gendered Violence And Propaganda In Xinjiang

May 24, 2019
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The ongoing atrocities targeting Turkic Muslim peoples in Xinjiang are, in many forms, gendered violence. As the “People’s War on Terror” campaign escalates, Han officials and settlers are removing Turkic Muslim men who they perceive as threats to “security” and “safety,” emptying out a clear path for Han settlers to insert their presence onto Uyghur and Kazakh homelands. This comes at the expense of the women who remain.

In the state-initiated “Becoming Families” campaign, Han cadres enter native peoples’ homes and scan for any signs of Islamic piety, or wield scissors to cut off women’s long dresses on the streets. Since 2017, the state has begun to attack Muslim-Han marriage taboos as well as Muslim halal practices as forms of “religious extremism.” Interethnic marriage was forced upon many Uyghur women, an approach that went even further than simply encouraging them with money and other incentives in 2014

the party is now portraying itself as trying to save Uyghur and Kazakh Muslim women from the extremism of Islamic patriarchy.

In these narratives, Islam-related practices are denounced as religious extremist thought, including but not limited to wearing a veil, teaching their Sino-fied compatriots about Islamic piety and modesty, not smoking and drinking, marrying early, practicing halal, and so on. In one of the videos, a Uyghur woman is shocked and offended by gender-segregated seating norm in Muslim society, calling it a form of religious extremist thought. One of the few men interviewed confesses that he abused his wife because he was affected by religious extremism, and after reeducation he regretted it and finally understood “what love is.” Another young Uyghur woman practices yoga meditation on an Islamic prayer mat, reflecting on her confusion and loss during the time she was plagued by religious extremism.

One woman says she’s thrilled that reeducation gave her a second life, as though she was transported “back to my innocent childhood years. I am the girl who shakes off the shackles.” Other women express gratitude to the state and condemn their prior life. One confesses, “Seeds [of extremism] had been planted, if I had gone any further, I would have been the next one to set fires and kill people.” Another says, “I felt that a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders, I started to slowly draw myself out of that dark world.” Another one: “I have rid myself of all extremist thought and reinvented myself. I have a feeling of freedom and liberation that I’ve never experienced before.”

In 2011, Xinjiang governor Zhang Chunxian and the Party Committee promoted a “Beautifying Project” campaign that focused on modernizing ethnic minority women through the industrialization of women’s handicrafts, cosmetics, and accessory products. It was an effort to realize the region’s “Leap Forward Development” (跨越式发展 kuayue shi fa zhan). One aspect of the campaign was to help rural women develop the handicraft industry; another was to “promote women’s suzhi”. Suzhi in Chinese can be roughly translated as “human quality,” measured by education, behavior, or personal refinement. Suzhi discourse has been a key component in China’s campaign of building a civilized society since the 1990s, especially in disciplining rural peasants and stirring desire in middle-class families for social upward mobility. in Xinjiang, the Beautifying Project’s underlying objective is to unveil Muslim women. Accompanied by the slogan “Let your beautiful hair flow and pretty face show” (让美丽的头发飘起来,漂亮的脸蛋露出来 rang meili de toufa piao qilai, piaoliang de liandan luchu lai), the project aimed at cultivating a sense of modernity, patriotism, and devotion to the state among Muslim women.

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