October 28, 2013: Tiananmen Square attack in Beijing

Two Uyghur terrorist groups claimed a vehicle attack in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in October 2013 in which two were killed.

Two Uyghur terrorist groups claimed a vehicle attack in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in October 2013 in which two were killed.

BEIJING, CHINA – The Chinese genocide against Uyghur Muslims does not preclude actual acts of Uyghur terrorism as took place in October 2013 in Tiananmen Square.

The People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) campaign of cultural genocide against the Uyghurs must be condemned, as must actual acts of Uyghur terrorism.

The actions of the PRC in its northwestern province of Xinjiang are finally getting worldwide attention. What the Chinese government calls ‘re-education centres’ are in fact concentration camps and its policies of anti-Uyghur and anti-Muslim acts are nothing short of cultural genocide.

Nations are finally calling these moves what they are: an attempt to eradicate an entire people. The fact that China is threatening all kinds of reprisals for those who criticise its actions might be a sign that the opposition is starting to have an effect. Here’s hoping this is true and that the ‘China apologists’ in our midst, including here in Canada, will finally be sidelined.

China of course maintains that what it is doing in Xinjiang is really all about counter terrorism. It says that its actions are aimed at squeezing support for acts of Uyghur Islamist terrorism and are not in any way aimed at undermining the Uyghur language, culture, faith (i.e. Islam) or very existence.

Yeah, whatever.

We can, and we must, call out this state-led series of moves for what they really are – the aforementioned cultural genocide. Still, we cannot, and we must not, ignore the fact that there have been a number of mass casualty attacks carried out by Uyghur Islamist terrorists. Such as the attack featured today.

On this day in 2013 a vehicle crashed into a crowd in the iconic Tiananmen Square in Beijing, killing two and wounding approximately 40. A sports utility vehicle crashed through a security barrier and drove for hundreds of metres along a pavement before the three occupants detonated flammable material. Officials called it an act of Uyghur terrorism.

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), a well-established Islamist terrorist group, was the first to claim responsibility for the attack on 28 October. For their part, Chinese authorities blamed the attack on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a shadowy Xinjiang-based group with ostensible ties to al-Qaeda. Some think TIP and ETIM are one and the same.

O Chinese unbelievers, know that you have been fooling East Turkistan for the last sixty years, but now they have awakened. The people have learned who is the real enemy and they returned to their religion. They learned the lesson.

TIP leader Abdullah Mansour

We can condemn both what the PRC is doing as well as what Uyhgur terrorists are doing. Violent extremism is violent extremism after all.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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