“Expelled for Praying”

The government likes to say that minorities are unhappy because outside forces keep riling them up. When you think about it, that line goes from ‘untrue’ to ‘laughably untrue.’ What, Tibetans are happily singing and dancing the praises of the Communist Party and living in a socialist Utopia with Chinese characteristics, and then some guy they’ve never met whispers “you guys are unhappy!” and uses the Jedi mind trick to make them start rioting? That’s how the story is presented by Chinese news.

Autonomous Region has a short example of the kind of story that really makes minorities unhappy- things like this:

Two Uyghur students were expelled from high school after they were caught praying. The students attended Affiliated High School of Hangzhou Normal University in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. They’d been caught praying by a dormitory supervisor, who then reported it to the adminstration. The students were expelled for “participating in religious activities” and “deported” back to Xinjiang right-away, without being allowed to even collect their belongings.

This kind of thing, and millions of incidents like it, aggregate together to inspire the resentment which leads minorities to risk their lives protesting the government. To take this example, if Han students at the school went to the graves of their ancestors and burned some incense, would they have been expelled? Of course not. Religious activities are fine- just not minority religious activities. A month or two ago there was a story about how Uyghur students studying in other provinces were told they risked being expelled if they spoke Uyghur instead of Chinese amongst themselves.

But no, the government swears up and down that they’re all really happy about all that, it’s just that sometimes Rebiya or the Dalai Lama send in agents who use magical powers to make people unhappy. Sounds reasonable to you, right?

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Filed under China, ethnic conflict, religion

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