Cambridge don, 72, told students not to debate Uyghur Muslims

0
Cambridge academic Peter Nolan has warned his university against allowing debates on Uyghur Muslims in China as it could hurt 'mutual understanding'

Cambridge academic Peter Nolan has warned his university against allowing debates on Uyghur Muslims in China as it could hurt ‘mutual understanding’

A Cambridge don has warned his university against allowing debates about Uyghur Muslims in China as it could hurt “mutual understanding.”

Professor Peter Nolan, a fellow at Jesus College, said students should avoid discussions about human rights abuses in China because it would appear “like a university campaigning for freedom for Hong Kong, freedom for the Uyghurs.”

He said such discussions would lead to “unhelpful” and “controversial” results.

The professor emeritus, 72, also claimed media representation of Uyghur Muslims was skewed, saying the issue “is actually a much more complicated issue.”

He said “all countries” with ethnic minorities are experiencing similar problems to those in China’s western Xinjiang province.

Nolan, the director of the China Center, made the comments during a meeting of the Jesus College China Center advisory committee in November, The Sunday Times reported.

Professor Nolan, the director of the China Center, made the comments during a meeting of the Jesus College China Center advisory committee (pictured) in November

Professor Nolan, the director of the China Center, made the comments during a meeting of the Jesus College China Center advisory committee (pictured) in November

China has been accused of committing human rights abuses against its Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang

China has been accused of committing human rights abuses against its Uyghur minority population in Xinjiang

The professor, who was awarded a CBE for ‘supporting British business in China’, has reportedly benefited from close ties to the country, receiving £3.7 million in funding from a trust with ties to a former Chinese president.

He is also chief executive of a charity that received funding from China for a translation project and met with top Chinese official Xiao Yaqing in September 2019.

Jesus College’s ties to China have come under increasing scrutiny after it was revealed that the college had received a £155,000 donation from Huawei and later decided favorably on the telecom giant.

Nolan’s college also received a £200,000 grant from the Chinese government in 2018.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has since accused the college of being a “mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.”

He is also chief executive of a charity that received funding from China for a translation project and met with top Chinese official Xiao Yaqing in September 2019 (pictured)

He is also chief executive of a charity that received funding from China for a translation project and met with top Chinese official Xiao Yaqing in September 2019 (pictured)

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) has accused the college of becoming a 'mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party'.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) has accused the college of becoming a ‘mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party’.

Nolan made the comments after colleagues called for more events to encourage debate in college.

He said Jesus College should not platform people with a ‘very, very, very strong’ view of China without someone else ‘presenting a different point of view’, after colleagues suggested that Lord Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong. accommodate. described the Chinese president’s leadership as “thug and obnoxious.”

The professor said: ‘If you think that a meeting with Chris Patten as the keynote speaker and no one else presenting a different point of view is balanced, it isn’t.

“The views are very, very, very strong. They are very, very strong against the Uyghurs. They are very, very strong in Hong Kong… you have to have both points of view, otherwise the college will be seen as a college campaigning for freedom for Hong Kong, freedom for the Uyghurs.”

He added: “The predominant view … is that everyone knows what is happening. Everyone doesn’t know what’s happening. The majority – the mainstream through which Xinjiang’s opinion is filtered is the World Uyghur Association [sic].

‘[It] is highly organised, very active and extremely well represented in the global media, including the BBC and all other media.

‘The World Uighur Association is funded by the NED. The National Endowment for Democracy is a non-profit organization funded by the United States Congress.

“The goal is regime change in China and other parts of the world. So what you take for granted in the media is actually a much more complicated question.’

Nolan further complained that organizing an event about Hong Kong would be “much contentious and very difficult to organise” due to the number of Chinese students at the university.

“The consequences,” he said, “would be very difficult to comprehend.”

Detainees listen to speeches at a camp in Lop County, Xinjiang, China

Detainees listen to speeches at a camp in Lop County, Xinjiang, China

He also doubled down on the claim that the issue of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang is no more than

He also doubled down on the claim that the issue of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang is no more than “questions pertaining to all countries that have some form of minority.”

According to researchers, an estimated 1 million people or more – most of them Uyghurs – have been detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang in recent years.

According to researchers, an estimated 1 million people or more – most of them Uyghurs – have been detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang in recent years.

He also doubled down on the claim that the issue of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang is no more than “questions pertaining to all countries that have some form of minority.”

Commenting on the leaked comments, Nolan told The Times that he “supports Jesus College’s position that no topic is beyond the bounds of academic discussion.”

According to researchers, an estimated 1 million people or more – most of them Uyghurs – have been detained in re-education camps in Xinjiang in recent years.

Chinese authorities have been accused of imposing forced labour, systematic forced birth control and torture, and separating children from incarcerated parents.

Beijing flatly rejected the allegations. Officials have characterized the camps, which they say are now closed, as vocational training centers to teach Chinese language, vocational skills and the law to support economic development and fight extremism.

In April, the British parliament followed that of Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada by declaring that Beijing’s policies against the Uyghurs amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity. The US government has done the same.

A tribunal was opened in the UK on Friday to adjudicate charges of genocide in China.

On Friday, June 4, a tribunal opened in the UK to adjudicate genocide charges in China

On Friday, June 4, a tribunal opened in the UK to adjudicate genocide charges in China

Who are the Chinese Muslims?

Muslims are not a new presence in China. Most Muslim communities in China, including the Hui, Uyghurs and Kazakhs, have lived in China for more than 1,000 years, fact tank shows Pew Research Center.

The largest concentrations of Muslims today are in the western provinces of Xinjiang, Ningxia, Qinghai and Gansu.

A significant number of Muslims live in the cities of Beijing, Xi’an, Tianjin and Shanghai.

Chinese Muslim men take part in gathering for the celebration of the Islamic holiday, Eid al-Adha, or the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice, at the Niu Jie Mosque in Beijing, China

Chinese Muslim men take part in gathering for the celebration of the Islamic holiday, Eid al-Adha, or the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice, at the Niu Jie Mosque in Beijing, China

They make up about two percent of China’s 1.4 billion inhabitants. However, because the country is so densely populated, the Muslim population is expected to be the 19th largest in the world by 2030.

The Muslim population in China is expected to increase from 23.3 million in 2010 to nearly 30 million by 2030.

Those who grow up and live in places dominated by the Han Chinese have little knowledge about Islam – or religions in general – and thus see it as a threat.

Beijing’s policymakers are mainly Han.

At the same time, radical Islamist Uyghurs have killed hundreds of people in recent years, prompting China to take even more extreme measures to quell potential separatist movements.

Uyghurs, in particular, have long been accustomed to heavy-handed kerbstones on clothing, religious practices and travel after a series of deadly riots in 2009 in Urumqi, according to the Financial times.

Schoolchildren were not allowed to fast during Ramadan and attend religious events, while parents were not allowed to give their newborns Muslim names such as ‘Muhammad’ and ‘Jihad’.

Certain symbols of Islam, such as beards and the veil, were also banned. Women with face-covering veils are sometimes not allowed on buses. Unauthorized pilgrimages to Mecca were also restricted.

.