The Turkestan Islamic Party's New Outreach Program: Translation and Overview
By now, reports about the plight of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region of western China (East Turkestan) have become widespread on an international level. For example, many mainstream media outlets in the West have run stories on Uyghurs and reported on various forms of oppression they have faced at the hands of China’s government. In other words, the Uyghur cause has become much more prominent on an international level, and this remains true even if much of the global media focus right now is on Gaza or the response of Muslim countries towards China on this issue has fallen far short of what one might expect of ‘Muslim solidarity.’
The group called the Turkestan Islamic Party, whose existence as a fighting force is most visible in Syria where a branch was set up largely by Uyghur refugees who had been residing in Turkey and then ‘migrated’ to Syria, provides China an opportunity to frame its policies in Xinjiang as part of a fight against terrorism and jihadism.
In this new statement, however, the Turkestan Islamic Party rhetorically keeps some distance from jihadism, as the statement speaks of the goal of “liberating” the Uyghurs’ “homeland” of East Turkestan to achieve “Islamic independence” for it but does not mention the concept of jihad by name. At the same time, the Turkestan Islamic Party thanks various “groups” of people around the world for declaring support for the Uyghur cause, while declaring that contact channels will be opened for whoever wants to offer the Turkestan Islamic Party advice on advancing the Uyghur cause. The bottom of the statement includes contact avenues on various platforms including Telegram and WhatsApp.
Below is the statement translated by me from Arabic.