Let the police do their job. July 17, , 9: Meanwhile, in Urumqi, the capital of the autonomous Chinese region of Xinjiang that sits 2, miles west of Jinan, Muslim women live very different lives.
Others claimed that Uighur women had been raped by Han Chinese. Authorities often refuse to issue passports to Uighurs, especially in southern Xinjiang, or require a huge bribe before processing Uighur applications for the travel document. Sometimes the difference between liberation and persecution divides neatly along gender lines. A network consisting of thousands of miles of canals, reservoirs, and underground tunnels called karez, redistribute the water throughout the extensively irrigated area along the foothills of the mountain range. No revelations of religious empowerment awaited me there; it proved very difficult even to broach the topic of religion with many Uighurs, the largely Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic group who call Xinjiang home. The policeman appeared to have assumed that she wore the creased white face mask for religious rather than health reasons, as Muslim women there sometimes do. One week before Ramadan began, I witnessed a police officer harass a veiled woman on the street. But for female-only mosques, whose existence had been tenuous for much of their history, mandatory registration was a welcome gift, not a restriction. Unlike the scattered Chinese-speaking Hui who have no true homeland or ethnic connections abroad, Uighurs identify as a Turkic people with a history of autonomy in a homeland where many Uighurs now feel marginalized by discriminatory policies. It has warm summers, with a July daily average of Earlier on Tuesday, Wang Lequan, the party secretary of Xinjiang said that although Sunday's unrest had been quelled, "this struggle is far from over". And behind both extremes lies the powerful hand of the Chinese state. Chinese authorities claim that such strictures are needed to combat radical Islam, which they allege has caused the periodic violence now plaguing the region. The Best and the Worst Place Life is difficult for many Uighurs in Xinjiang. Barna, who asked to use a pseudonym to protect her identity, told me that she and her husband came to the United States in search of greater freedom. Government policies have done more than encourage a sense of self-confidence among Hui Muslim women. Now we are helping the police to crush the separatists. As part of a tradition dating back to the late 19th century and unique to China's 10 million Hui Muslims, Zheng is one of hundreds of female Imams leading all female congregations in the women's only mosques of northwest China. It compromises an ancient irrigation system built 2, years ago. Such sentiment has fueled a nascent separatist movement and boiled over into ethnic tensions, visible in such disturbances as the deadly Urumqi riots. But critics assert that the religious restrictions only serve to feed what has become a vicious cycle of repression and violence there. The annual average temperature is 6. In the s, Chinese authorities began to require that all religious sites, pagodas, chapels, and mosques register with the government and comply with certain guidelines. Its annual precipitation is about millimetres
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