Will China regret its treatment of Muslims? Not very likely

ThePrint, on Wednesday, published an article by Mihir Sharma titled, “China is forcing devout Muslims to drink liquor, but the world is looking away” in which he makes the argument that “If the land-based economic corridors of Xi’s imagination are to become a reality, then China will need to build a peaceful and secure Xinjiang that’s integrated effectively with its neighbors.”

The author relies heavily on the assumption borne of his liberal ideological inclinations to reach conclusions that appear far-fetched from reality. The author writes, “A police state full of brutal re-education camps will merely provoke a terrifying backlash – and the Belt and Road will be among the casualties.” And yet, the Tiananmen Square massacre hardly had any adverse effects on the China miracle story. There was hardly ‘terrifying backlash’ so to speak. The author assumes that brutality inspires retaliation. However, the Chinese appear to be working under the premise that annihilation doesn’t inspire any and thus far, they appear to be succeeding.

The Chinese oppression of Uighurs and its general war against Islam is hardly news to any. It’s quite widely known that in its re-education camps, China forces its Muslim inhabitants to eat pork and drink wine and thus, violating the fundamental diktats of Islam. The Chinese government has also made it compulsory for all Mosques to hoist the National Flag to instil patriotic values and ideas in them. Western governments, which are normally so proactive in condemning human rights violations across the world are remarkably silent on China’s treatment of Muslims.

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Not just Western countries, but Pakistan, an Islamic country appears more than willing to prostrate before the might of President Xi, ignoring the harsh treatment meted out by his administration to members of their Islamic brotherhood. The larger point is, there is absolutely nothing to indicate that China might come to regret their treatment of Muslims in the future. Only those suffering from liberal ideological delusions will come to that conclusion but there’s nothing on the ground to support that conclusion.

The massive leaps in technological advancement combined with the Chinese state’s totalitarian inclinations have granted it unprecedented power to suppress and eliminate revolutions and revolutionaries of the kind liberals, especially, are so fond of. The massive surveillance mechanism developed by the state that includes cameras with facial recognition technology to monitor its citizens makes the scope for revolutions highly unlikely.

The brutal suppression of religious practices and texts combined with re-education camps and a massive surveillance state makes it highly unlikely that a revolution without support from factions within the communist party itself could ever succeed. And with further advancements in technology, the ability of the Chinese state to step up its surveillance on its population will only get more effective. Therefore, the kind of ‘terrifying backlash’ that the author speaks of might never come to pass.

The treatment of China by world leaders speaks volumes about the nature of our world order. Despite its gross human rights record, China hasn’t been shunned by any major political country. The World is looking away, as the author suggests, and it’s looking away because trading with China is currently beneficial to all parties involved. And self-interests trumps every human rights violation committed on unknown people with unknown faces in a distant far off land.

The doctrine of liberalism assumes that embracing diversity and political freedom is essential for a state to succeed. And yet, China has constantly demonstrated that the secret to success lies not in vague ideas but effective policies and a polity that has the will and means to implement them. Liberals appear to believe in the concept of Karmic justice in their own weird way. They believe that if a state commits atrocities against their own population, justice will automatically be served to them at an unspecified point in time in the future. But that’s not how politics works.

The disintegration of the USSR had very little or nothing to do with the millions of people that were killed by Stalin during his rule. The defeat of Adolf Hitler had nothing to do with the genocide he organized. And if the Chinese state falls or suffers serious setbacks, it will be because they presented a grave threat to the might of the United States or factionalism between the ranks of the Communist party itself. That’s how the Nazi regime was defeated, that’s how the USSR collapsed.

It is, however, interesting to note, that despite the liberal delusions of karmic retribution, it is the communists that the liberals find most in common with. The ones who are responsible for totalitarian regimes across the globe. Perhaps that points to the fact that liberals don’t have a problem with totalitarian regimes per se, they have a problem when the totalitarian regime doesn’t comply with their demands and their ideals.

Unless foreign powers start funding Chinese Muslims to wage war against the State, which is as likely to happen as a virgin birth considering China’s surveillance mechanism, the Chinese will never regret the million human rights violations it has committed. Just like Stalin, who is still a hero to Indian Communists, did not. Just like Winston Churchill, whose racism led to the genocide of millions of Bengalis, did not.

Average in every department

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