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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Islam-China-Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu, Islamic fundamentalism-China-Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu, Turkey-Foreign relations-China, China-Foreign relations-Turkey, Pakistan-Foreign relations-China, China-Foreign relations-Pakistan, Turkey-Ethnic relations, Pakistan-Ethnic relations, Islam and politics-Asia-History-21st century, Uighur (Turkic people), Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu (China)-History-21st century, Social constructionism, Islamization, Islamism, Political Islam, Social constructivism


My study addresses the Muslim response to the Xinjiang riots, emphasizing Sino-Muslim diplomacy and Islamization in the Muslim nation-states, namely Turkey and Pakistan as case studies. The post-2009 Xinjiang riots witnessed resurgence in the Turkish-Chinese entente and military-security cooperation in the Sino-Pak bilateral relationship, contrasting with the short-lived Turkish condemnation of Chinese treatment of the riots as "genocide" and Pakistani non-response overall. Such trends have influenced scholars and social commentators alike to bemoan the failure and reticence of Islam in alleviating the human rights violence towards the Uyghurs as well as the dominance of economic interdependence over shared Islamic identity. The thesis thereby seeks to respond to the hypothesis that incentives from the Sino-Muslim bilateral relationship had overcome shared Muslim identity and sympathy for the Uyghurs in the aftermath of the riots. This research contends that economic factors cannot solely explain or motivate lack of human rights advocacy across bilateral relationships and that culture and history can play just as important a role as well. An evaluation of Sino-Muslim diplomacy and Islamization in the Muslim states using realist-liberal and social constructivist lenses disproves the hypothesis. An understanding of Islamization and the Muslim states' relationship with their respective Muslim minority and the Uyghurs demonstrates that Islamic identity had either not been the primary denominator of relationship, as in the case of Turkey, or that Islamic expression of the Uyghurs was not compatible with the traditional Islamic practices in Pakistan. The lack of Islamic affiliation with the Uyghurs suggested that consideration of the Uyghur's Muslim identity was not central to policymaking, hence no common identity for economic interdependence to be overcome. However, the Uyghurs' gradual adoption of a Muslim identity, vis-’ѕ-vis the Islamic status quo of Turkey and Pakistan, predicts a shift in the dynamics of Uyghur human rights diplomacy and a possible confrontation with the Muslim nation-states' economic interests with China.




131 p. Honors project-Smith College, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 121-131)