Sean R. Roberts
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Islamophobia and anti-Uyghur racism in China
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This chapter provides an overview of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) counter-terrorism policies targeting Uyghurs since 2001, when the state first asserted that it faced a terrorist threat from this population. In reviewing these policies and their impact, the chapter suggests that the state has gradually isolated and excluded Uyghurs from PRC society. The chapter articulates the progressive exclusion and policing of Uyghurs in the War on Terror, where the Uyghur people have come to symbolise an existential threat to society that must be policed through surveillance, punishment, and detention. Furthermore, the state narrative of the Uyghurs has stirred and legitimised fear, stigma, and violence from private actors towards this community. Rather than suggesting that these impacts of China’s War on Terror coincide with the intent of state policy, the chapter argues that they are inevitable outcomes of labelling a given ethnic population as a terrorist threat in the age of the global War on Terror.

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