Monday, June 8, 2009

Islamic China

The Chinese population policy has created a surplus of males, and this is a demographic time bomb. Simply put, lots of unoccupied, unmarried young males in any one place means trouble. The linked article focuses on the human rights ramifications, in terms of the commodification of women, but I have another concern. Combine the overabundance of males with China's policies encouraging emigration to the West (by already-poor and uneducated rural workers) and we have a great recipe: unmarried, poor, marginalized young men (many of whom will go back and forth to their home province) in an area where Islam is already the dominant religion, despite the efforts of the CCP to squash it.

Could West China become the next breeding ground for extremist Islam? I suspect that we would be seeing this already, far in excess of what we've already seen with spotty incidents of Uighur militarism, if not for China's oppressive policies with regard to religion. I'm not a fan of those policies, and in any event if we're going to see a new recruiting ground for disenfranchised Islamists in western China, I'm not sure that such policies would stop it anyway.

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