A Question of Ethics - Christianity and Islam in China: Xinjiang Province: Han NationalityXinJiang is Muslim territory! It is now populated with Han Chinese who have been paid to go live and work there. Call me cynical if you must, but I can't help wondering if the real issue here isn't about some Local people wanting to get rid of, not only of the Han Chinese, but a foreign religion. That is not meant as a slight against Muslims, for in fact I have many Xinjiang friends, but 'greasing the wheel' is common practice in China, and a greased palm could solve a lot of problems if for instance you had (Han Chinese) foreigners trying to convert your kids to another religion.
A Little Levity to go with the Serious Topic - Yours Truly in a Muslim Restaurant
Australia has a reputation as a pastoral country, producing some fine Marino sheep. Years ago when I was a policeman in Blackall in Central Western Queensland, I made friends with the Mitchell-Hills who were managing one of the Walker sheep and cattle properties.
There is a saying about the town of Blackall: 'There's ****all in Blackall!, which explains why I spent as much free time visiting my friends and learning to be a 'city slicker Jackaroo' as I could. Amongst other things, I learned to muster Sheep and Cattle, the former being rather sedate, whilst the latter being anything but, depending on circumstances.
I remember the time I got off my horse to pull a sheep free from a bramble bush. My shirt was not tucked into my jeans, and the buttons were undone. As I went to remount the horse, the wind grabbed my shirt, the horse shied. As the horse galloped off into the distance, I was left precariously hanging onto the reigns and mane of the horse, with my left foot in the stirrup. I finally managed to throw myself up and over the saddle, but in the process, my foot came out of the stirrup, and I landed belly first in the saddle. To make matters worse, my shirt was now in my face, and I couldn't see.
I was unable to reign in the horse, so when I finally shook my face free of the shirt, I scanned the horizon for some safe (free of tree stumps) landing spot, and promptly threw myself off the horse. As I was picking myself up off the ground, the boss rode up laughing his head off and said: "I've never seen anyone do a triple backward somersault from a horse before, and live to tell the tale."
Now if there is one thing I learned about sheep, it is that they are dumb animals. They will walk into a dam to drink, get saturated with water, and find themselves too heavy to walk out. You have to drag them out, and that's when the fun starts. The first thing they do is drop to the ground. If left there, they will die, so you have to get them on their feet so that the water can drain from the fleece. They don't particularly respond to polite requests.
The best and most effective way to get them up and running, is to open their mouths and throw a handful of dust down their throats. That usually does the trick. They jump to their feet, the water gushes from the fleece, and "bob's yer uncle", except that is, that they are so dumb, that they usually just run straight back into the water, and the process must be repeated.
From these two stories we could conclude that while some shepherds are both lucky and stupid, that many sheep are both stupid and suicidal. The real point of these anecdotes however, is to serve as an introduction to something else.
There was a saying many years ago amongst some evangelical Christians that: 'We don't steal other people's sheep!" By this they meant that they seek to convert those who do not believe in God, rather than try to win over people who already have an existing faith. In a recent article entitled: Christianity and Martyrdom in China, I wrote:
XinJiang is Muslim territory! It is now populated with Han Chinese who have been paid to go live and work there. Call me cynical if you must, but I can't help wondering if the real issue here isn't about some Local people wanting to get rid of, not only of the Han Chinese, but a foreign religion. That is not meant as a slight against Muslims, for in fact I have many Xinjiang friends, but 'greasing the wheel' is common practice in China, and a greased palm could solve a lot of problems if for instance you had (Han Chinese) foreigners trying to convert your kids to another religion.
With that statement in mind, I want to draw your attention to the two points I made therein.
Police killed 18 terrorists and arrested 17 others during a raid on a training camp in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. the gunbattle took place on Friday at a camp run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, which the United Nations labeled a terrorist organization in 2002.
I have no intention of discussing the political intricacies involved in XinJiang's inclusion in the People's Republic of China. I merely point out that my original statement has some validity in view of recent events.
Number 2: Han Chinese (foreigners) trying to convert your kids to another religion.
I have no doubt that the more intellectually inclined will read this posit and immediately dismiss it as the ramblings of some idiotic racist Australian teaching English in China. So what I will now say, provides not only a justification for my statement, but acts as a warning of future troubles to befall XinJiang. ( Prophecy and Reutersgate: Discerning Truth! - My "prophetic vision" does not come from thunder and blinding lights, accompanied by supernatural voices, it comes from a mind that has learned..)
A month ago, one of the boys who lives on my floor, calmly informed me that he had joined the Christian Religion (Jidujiao). This morning he informed me that next year he will go to XinJiang with many others to "convert" the Muslims there, because they belong to the wrong religion.
This boy does not even know that Catholicism and his brand of evangelicalism, are two variations of Christianity. He has no theological understanding other than what he has heard preached in his local church (which is apparently a legally registered church).
With all the millions of people in China who do not believe in God, you would think that there is ample opportunity for him and his associates to evangelize the local population. What he and his fellows plan to do, is nothing but 'Sheep Stealing'.
I tried to tell him that Tianzujiao (Catholicism), Jidujiao (Christianity), Youtaijiao (Judaism) and Yisilanjiao (Islam), all believe in the God of Moses and the God of Abraham, and that it will be they who believe that he belongs to the wrong religion. He could not understand my point.
I then told him that if he goes to preach to the Muslims of XinJiang, they will view him and his friends, in the same way as the Iraqi's view Americans, and will fight against them. (OK - so you want to contest that last sentence, but you, not having experience with the Chinese, have no idea of how they view the situation in Iraq. The Chinese at least will understand the meaning of my words).
I told him that when he goes there and finds himself in trouble, to remember that it is his own fault, and not to blame the Muslims. Naturally he will pay no attention to my words, after all, I'm just a foreigner. What would I know?
Unlike so many who insist that they are right and others are wrong, and who endeavour by every means to 'control' those around them, it has always been my path to tell people what I see in the future should they follow their course. What choice they make is their own. The important thing is to be cognizant of 'what might be', so that if it comes to pass, they will put the blame fairly where it belongs - on their own decisions.
Today, China has opened up tremendously, and will continue to do so for sometime. One of the unintended consequences of this is that many Chinese Muslims are now travelling to Saudi Arabia to receive instruction in Islam. It should be little surprise therefore, that slowly but surely in China, there will arise an Islamic fundamentalism which will change the traditional mutual existence of Muslim and Other.
Who knows what the future of China will be in this regard, but one thing is certain, when you set out to steal sheep, someone, somewhere, sooner or later, is going to do something to put a stop to it.
This is just my opinion. You are entitled to your own!
Chinese-English Parallel Version. Easy to Read Version.
All forms of abuse are serious, but the least recognised is Emotional Abuse. In the Article entitled: Emotional Abuse and Female Emotional Abusers this issue is examined. It touches upon Religious abuse, Political Activist abuse, Feminist Abuse, Child abuse, and Men who are abused by women.
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