"Our private lives continuously intersect with the history of our time. Rarely was this more evident than in Tiananmen Square in 1989 when I saw a million students rise up in protest. My friend climbed atop our taxi and shouted, 'Democracy is not only for America! Democracy is not only for China! Democracy is for the whole world!'"
The images from around the world bear witness to a global reality. "We are not sheep", they cry from the streets of Tehran to the streets of Urumqi. In both Iran and China, the ruling forces have duped many of the poor, rural citizens of their country into acting as proxy agents for their power grab. In China especially in Tibet and the Uighur regions, much like the British did during the height of their empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, ethnic groups are set against each other to distract the people away from the real foe - the unjust government.
The riots this week in China were bloody and many innocents died. It is time for the Han Chinese and the Uighurs to realize that their common enemy is the corrupt government that wants to keep all the citizens of China in bondage.
Background from the New York Times:
"Many Han migrants, at the encouragement of the Chinese government, have settled among the Muslim Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking race that is the largest ethnic group in oil-rich region of Xinjiang. The influx of Han, the dominant ethnic group in China, has transformed Xinjiang: the percentage of Han in the population was 40 percent in 2000, up from 6 percent in 1949.
But migration has fueled ethnic tensions, as Uighurs complain about the loss of jobs, the proliferation of Han-owned businesses and the disintegration of their own culture.
On Sunday at least 156 people were killed in the deadliest ethnic violence in China in decades. Raging Uighurs battled security forces and attacked Han civilians across Urumqi.
The riot had evolved from a protest march held by more than 1,000 Uighurs to demand that the government investigate an earlier brawl between Han and Uighurs in southern China."
Now we must look at the image of Tursun Gul standing fearlessly against the iron war horses of the Chinese military much like the celebrated photo of Man against tank in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Huston Smith, probably the world's foremost scholar on religion was in China and at Tiananmen Square during the uprising in 1989. Huston writes in his just published autobiography, "Our private lives continuously intersect with the history of our time. Rarely was this more evident than in Tiananmen Square in 1989 when I saw a million students rise up in protest. My friend climbed atop our taxi and shouted, 'Democracy is not only for America! Democracy is not only for China! Democracy is for the whole world!'"
From ABC News:
Her name is Tursun Gul. She is a migrant worker and she is not from Urumqi. In person, she looks younger than she does in the pictures but her eyes are tired. She was injured in a car accident and now uses a crutch to help her walk.
She told us why she took to the streets in protest on Tuesday.
“My husband, younger brother and older brothers, 5 in all, were arrested,” she said, “We were eating when it happened. The police came and took them away and they never returned. I don’t know why they took them.”
When we asked if she was not frightened walking up to a line of heavily armed soldiers she retorted, “How could I be afraid when I did not commit any crime? We’re just migrant workers from another part of Xinjiang. We’re not guilty of anything.”
Tursun, a mother of two young children, said she does not know where her brothers and her husband are being held and she does not know when, or if, they will be released. And she does not know how she will support her family now.
“There is no one to take care of us,” she lamented.
Other local residents we spoke to told us that more than 20 men were taken from the area. None of them have been seen since. According to official figures, more than 1400 people have been arrested in connection with this week’s violence.
Uighur Woman Who Stood Against Soldiers - ABC News
Buy Huston Smith's Autobiography at:
Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography by Huston Smith