Pro-Al-Qaeda Women's Magazine Urges Muslims To Help Uyghurs Via Jihad Against China, Boycotting Chinese Products

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March 3, 2021

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On February 25, 2021, pro-Al-Qaeda publisher Bayt Al-Maqdis released Issue 18 of its Ibnat Al-Islam (Daughter of Islam) women's magazine.[1] The 86-page issue, which is mostly in Arabic with a few articles in English, is devoted to China's persecution of its Muslim Uyghur minority. The magazine's editorial, as well as an article printed in both English and Arabic, discuss the plight of the Uyghurs in China's Xinjiang region, also known as East Turkestan. The editorial urges Muslims to support the Uyghur struggle against the Chinese regime by boycotting Chinese products, advocating in the media for the Uyghur cause, and waging jihad against Chinese interests.


The first page of the editorial is illustrated with a photo showing inmates in a Chinese internment camp.

The six-page editorial, by a woman using the pen name Kifah Al-Maqdisiyah (Struggle the Jerusalemite), is titled "How Can We Defend the Muslims in East Turkestan?" and subtitled "An Uyghur Woman Relates How She Escaped From A Chinese Camp: Our Souls Are Dead." The editorial tells the story of Uyghur refugee Gulbahar Haitiwaji, who claims in her book Rescapée du goulag chinois: Premier témoignage d’une survivante ouïghoure (Chinese Gulag Survivor: First Testimony from a Uyghur Survivor) that she spent three years in a Chinese "re-education camp" where she experienced or witnessed "interrogations, torture, hunger, brainwashing, and forced sterilizations." The description of Haitiwaji's experiences in a Chinese "re-education camp" between 2016 and 2019 is a translation of an article published by the British The Guardian news outlet in January 2021.[2] Another article in the magazine, "The Terrible 'Sinicization' of Islam in China," by American professor Kelly Hammond, was published in January 2021 in Newlines magazine[3] and was republished in Ibnat Al-Islam in the original English and in Arabic translation. Both articles were presumably translated and republished without permission.


The above excerpt from the article "The Terrible 'Sinicization' of Islam in China," was published in the magazine in English.

The editorial claims that China is perpetrating "genocide" against Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in China, mentioning allegations that the Chinese government has been sterilizing Uyghur women and forcing them to use birth control, as well as sending Uyghur women who refuse to have abortions to internment camps. It further accuses China of detaining "millions of Uyghur Muslims" in concentration camps and notes that "activists and human rights organizations" have accused China of "brainwashing hundreds of thousands of Muslim women" in what the Chinese government refers to as "re-education camps." Kifah Al-Maqdisiyah notes that China initially denied the existence of the camps, then justified them as necessary to fight against "so-called terrorism."

She points out that Western countries have recently condemned China for its treatment of the Uyghurs and violation of their freedom of religion by preventing them from fasting and praying, coercing them to eat pork and drink alcohol, and forcibly marrying Uyghur women to non-Muslim men, while the governments of Muslim countries have remained silent. Kifah Al-Maqdisiyah claims that China is interning Uyghur men to prevent them from practicing Islam, taking their children to be raised as communists, and sterilizing Uyghur women, as well as targeting them with "systematic rape, sexual assault, and torture."


The above illustrations from the editorial depict (left) Chinese officials inspecting an internment facility and (right) a cartoon showing a Chinese Muslim behind barbed wire being respectively attacked and strangled with the elements of China's hammer and sickle symbol.

The editorial declares that "we must take a resolute, earnest stand and unite to defend the Muslims in East Turkestan." Urging Muslims to "search for the solution in the light of our shari'a and the guidance of our noble Prophet," Kifah Al-Maqdisiyah declares that "the solution is jihad for the sake of Allah." She encourages readers to support the Uyghur mujahideen, communicate with Uyghurs in Xinjiang and work to "protect the religion of the Muslims there," boycott Chinese products, and publicize news and testimonies of China's persecution of Uyghurs "daily and intensively, so that the world hears their story, history, and the truth of their suffering under the vile communist rule."

She further encourages her readers: "Do not underestimate your abilities and influence in removing this oppression from your brothers," urging them to "follow events and react to them." Kifah Al-Maqdisiyah adds that jihad mandates unifying Muslims and "coordinating on all levels to lead the campaign of support." She advises "urging the mujahideen to carry out attacks against Chinese interests, take hostages, and strive to free Muslims in Peking's prisons" in order to apply "military, economic, media, and da'wah (preaching) pressure" on the Chinese government.

Below the editorial, the magazine displays photographs of fighters from the jihadi Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), a group of Uyghur fighters which has no significant presence in Xinjiang but is active in Afghanistan and Syria. TIP has no official ties to Al-Qaeda, although it, too, is a Salafi-jihadi group. The group's branch in Afghanistan is aligned with the Afghan Taliban, while the Syrian branch is aligned with Syrian jihadi group Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS).[4] The caption above the photos, which show TIP fighters in Syria and their children, reads: "They set out as muhajireen [foreign fighters] to defend the people of Syria and traveled miles to race to sacrifice their lives and precious things. [They did this] because they believe that we are [all] sons of one ummah and that defending them in East Turkestan is a debt around our necks. O Allah, accept the hijrah [emigration to Islamic lands] and jihad of our Turkestani brothers, accept their martyrs, bless their children, and aid them with a mighty victory."


The above photos from the magazine show TIP fighters in Syria and their children.

 

 

[1] Talk.gnews.bz/channel/byt-almqds-1, February 25, 2021.

[2] Theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/12/uighur-xinjiang-re-education-camp-china-gulbahar-haitiwaji, January 12, 2021.

[3] Newlinesmag.com/argument/the-terrible-sinicization-of-islam-in-china, January 15, 2021.

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