Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Major clash between Chinese Hui Muslims and ethnic Han

Posted by jagoindia on March 3, 2009


February 18, 2009
Children’s fireworks row in China results in major clash

CLIFFORD COONAN in Beijing

A DISPUTE between children from two villages quarrelling over fireworks escalated into a major clash between Chinese Hui Muslims and ethnic Han majority villagers in Hebei province a week ago, forcing 2,000 police to intervene to maintain order.

It’s the latest episode in a growing litany of local riots and unrest as the economy slows in China.

According to reports, fireworks set off by children from the Hui village of Niujinzhuang set fire to firewood in the neighbouring Han village, Gengzhuangzi, on the Lantern Festival, the end of the Lunar New Year holiday when fireworks are lit across the country. The children argued over the event on February 10th, but the row escalated into a massive brawl that drew thousands of villagers.

The Hong Kong Centre for Democracy and Human Rights reported that 2,000 armed police came in to stop the fighting, and said hundreds were injured, four seriously. Local police said three people were injured, one of them seriously. There are still 500 paramilitary officers patrolling the area to stop further conflicts.

There have been clashes before between Hui Muslims and Han Chinese in various parts of the country. There are about 10 million Hui Muslims in China, while there are about the same number of Turkish ethnic Uighur Muslims living in the west of the country. Han Chinese account for more than 90 per cent of the population.

Recent protests and riots in provincial towns have drawn thousands of locals into confrontations with police. Using mobile phones, the aggrieved can quickly co-ordinate with friends and family.

In 2004, a dispute over a traffic accident in neighbouring Henan province escalated when Han and Hui were trucked in to join in fighting. Seven people were killed before martial law was imposed.

In last year’s Tibetan anti-Chinese riots, Han and Hui villagers were targeted by rioting Tibetans.

The central government in Beijing is keeping a close eye on rising social unrest in the country as the economy slows and unemployment starts to rise, particularly among migrant workers who are forced to return to their countryside homes from the cities. Some 20 million of the country’s 130 million migrant workers have recently lost their jobs, although there is little sign of any organised protest in China and most unrest tends to flare up randomly in local areas, and is often focused against corrupt local officials.

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