Well, at least someone was awake. My good friend Victor, over on his (Dutch) new media blog, wonders why Tibetans fighting for independence are universally hailed as freedom fighters while Uyghurs, in the same country and under much the same type of occupation, are called Muslim extremists.Not that any of the journalists writing here knows thing one about Uyghurs – we just copy the Chinese state-controlled media, thank you very much. The same media ridiculed, attacked and rebutted in the case of Tibet.
We’ve seen it before, haven’t we – universal anger at the Russian interventions in the Baltic states in the nineties, and at the still rather unwilling attitude of Moscow towards the aspirations of it’s former fellow Soviet republics – but since 9-11 hardly a word is uttered about the total and utter distruction of the Chechnyan city of Grozny and the dirty war against independence from Mother Russia being fought there. We love those Latvians and Lithuanians to death. Chechens, however, are extremist goat-herders and they all want to plunge their territory into some sort of backward medieval theocracy. Proof for that is not asked; we “know” it.
What we don’t know, is what the Tibetans might do when they regain their independence. But before the Chinese came barging in, it was rather a backward medieval theocracy. And so, in the final analysis, it boils down again to one single point: Uyghurs are Muslims and therefore wrong by default. In this case it doesn’t help of course that most people see Buddhism as a particularily peaceful and benevolent religion. But then most people think warrior monks are a Hollywood invention.