Id Kah Mosque

The Id Kah Mosque is the largest mosque in China, with a capacity to allow 20,000 worshipers in on its most important holy days. It is also one of the oldest mosques in China, having been built in 1442. Through its long history, it has seen much. Islam had already arrived in Kashgar and the …

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Uighur Students are Disappeared into Chinese Prisons

Just an update on the situation I’ve been following with Ilham Tohti:

Kashgar Urban Planning Museum

Kashgar’s Urban Planning Museum was tough to get into, but it was worth it. Hidden behind the staid language of historians and economists and a skyscraper-speckled diorama was a story of the death of Kashgar. China has a slew of these Urban Planning Museums. Normally, each museum has a section acknowledging that city’s inevitably glorious …

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Ilham Tohti

Just a quick update on Ilham Tohti, the Uighur professor who I reported on here Here is a quick link to an article about Professor Tohti: There is nothing to update really. The Chinese government still considers him a separatist, and has not revoked its judgement on the economist’s actions. Unfortunate, but not unexpected.

Riots in Yarkant

We were traveling in Xinjiang during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month which is usually marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset by the devout. However, students and government bureaucrats were not allowed to follow their religious traditions, some of them being forced to eat during Ramadan. Not surprisingly, many Uighurs resented this treatment.   The …

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The Disappearance of Newspapers

In China’s east, newspapers are ubiquitous. Living in Nanjing in 2009, I was spoiled for choices. In the ten minute walk to school, I would pass two or three news stands, each of them overflowing with newspapers from everywhere, including five to ten local papers like the Yangtse Evening Post, Beijing official broadsides like the …

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Renewed Violence in Xinjiang

On our way from Turpan to Kashgar, we passed through a county where violence recently broke out again, in mid October. Violence there has become so regular that it is not being widely reported, and I did not hear about it until now. At least 22 People are Reported Killed in Attack at a Market in …

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Old People, with Proof that they are Old, get Free Restroom Use

Strangely, this sign says that old people can use the restroom for free, if they are carrying identification proving that they are old. Never seen this before.

The Gray Lady at the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum

Yesterday I did a post on our visit to the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum. A few months ago, the New York Times did a story on the same Mausoleum. Their story did not completely jive with what we saw, though, I would still recommend reading it there. The author of the Times story suggested that bus …

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Fragrant Concubine…Or Iprahan

In Chinese, it is called the Fragrant Concubine’s Tomb. In Uighur, it is called the Afaq Khoja Mausoleum. The difference says a lot about the problems in Xinjiang. Afaq Khoja was a political and religious leader based in Kashgar in the 1600’s. His teachings started a brand of Islam, and his family remained influential in …

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