Islamophobia 101: Episode 17-China’s ‘war on terror’ hides brutal crackdown on Muslims

Posted on July 22, 2007


Minaret of Great Mosque in Xian, China

Michael Sheridan in Kashgar, China
Sunday Times (London)

THE CHINESE executioners came for Ismail Semed before 9am. They led him out of his cell as the sun climbed over the Tien Shan mountains in the land he called East Turkestan.

The day before, he had seen his wife, Buhejer, his son, 7, and his daughter, 6, for the last time. After three years in prison and 15 months of uncertainty since a secret trial, they had 10 minutes to say farewell.

Semed was 37, a Muslim and a political activist. He was not guilty of murder nor any act of violence.

Three Chinese judges sentenced him to death for “attempting to split the motherland” and possession of firearms and explosives. He said he was tortured into a confession. Two men whose evidence was used against him were already dead, having been executed in 1999.

In his final moments with his family -his parents, brother and sister were also there, all crying -he quietly accepted his fate.

“I did my best to prove I was innocent. I am so sorry that I leave you with two children. Please take care of them and let them get a good education,” he told his wife. […]

Chinese security services have also created a pervasive apparatus of informers and deployed new units of black-clad antiterrorist police to patrol around mosques and markets in the cities of Xinjiang. […] Police ordered the Muslims to hand in their passports and told them that the documents would be returned only for travel approved by the authorities. [more]

Please go to the Sunday Times (London), to read the remainder of this article.