The Chinese Jihadist Separatists Fighting in Syria

Last month, on an empty stretch of road somewhere in northwestern Syria, tens of military vehicles slowly drove single-file in a parade led by a little-known jihadist group.

In a time when many armed groups are struggling to stay alive and are under constant threat of bombardment by Syrian, Iranian, Russian or U.S. warplanes, it is becoming increasingly rare to see such outward and ostentatious displays of strength in Syria.

But what is especially surprising about this particular parade is exactly who did it: it was not Syrians or even Arabs, but Chinese separatist fighters.

  • How many of these separatists will be allowed to return?

    • Watchman

      All of them. Though none of them will ever be allowed to return to their families and their homes by the Chinese Government. They may be allowed to live, but I can’t see the Chinese Government ever allowing them to be freed and spreading the idea of jihad and independence for Xinjiang amongst the Uyghur.

      • I can’t see them being allowed to return.

        China might decide that they should be someone else’s problem.

        • Watchman

          China keeps very close tabs on those it considers ‘Enemy of the State’. You might not be aware of how carefully it monitors and attempts to restrict the activities of groups it considers counter-revolutionary. Groups such as the Falun Gong, the Tibetan expatriate community and the Uyghur are all considered counter-revolutionary, and are always considered by China to be a problem wherever in the world they are.

          Thinking that the Uyghur would not be allowed to return is a very Western mode of thinking, because you assume that they would be allowed to remain free or at least be contactable if they were arrested. These Uyghur are Chinese citizens and would never be heard of again, possibly with a postscript note at best describing how certain Uyghur were found guilty of treason and murder and were executed after a fair trial.

          • China is stretched thin. Why bring in people one would have to monitor when one could simply not let them return?

          • Watchman

            If there’s still something that China is short of, it’s not people. The monitoring of the returnees will be done inside prisons and camp, all within a quick walk to the execution grounds if they get overcrowded.

          • I see what you’re saying but I’m skeptical.

    • DavidinNorthBurnaby

      Won’t the Chinese government spend zillions on housing, feeding and giving them all poetry readings?

  • I’m still undecided about which is worse: Islamism or totalitarian Communism. Seems to me the problem with the Jihad in China started for the same reason it began in the former Soviet Union: irrational communist Government repression of religion. The former Soviets were caught red-handed “false-flagging” a terrorist attack and blaming it on Muslims in order to justify repression. I think the communist Chinese did the same thing in earlier days. Then of course there was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and repression of religion there — there was no Jihad in Afghanistan, no Osama bin Ladin until after the Communist Soviet invasion.

    Then when the real thing broke out — the Global Islamic Jihad — Muslims around the world joined it, including Muslims from communist countries.

    That’s my take on it anyway.

    • Rez Zircon

      Islam is worse. Communism eventually falls apart and is replaced by something else; it rarely lasts more than a generation or two. But almost everywhere Islam has ever conquered is still Islamic.

      There’s a good chance to throw off the yoke of communism, and sometimes even without too much violence (eg. the fall of the USSR). But getting rid of Islam requires all-out war (eg. the Reconquista of Spain — 700 years of war) and chances are you’ll lose (the whole Middle East).

      And Islam has killed more people, even with less technology — if you max out both estimates, Islam is ahead of communism roughly 2 fo 1.

  • simus1

    Calling Uyghurs “Chinese” is a bit of a stretch since most of them have zero interest in being ruled from Beijing and are not even remotely related to Chinese on a racial basis.

  • Alain

    This cannot be true since Islam is a race according to government policy.

  • DavidinNorthBurnaby

    A case for tactical Battlefield Nukes if ever I’ve heard of one. To make a terrifying example.