To those who were familiar with the works of the late Samuel Huntington at Harvard University, the mere mention of his name would stir up the spectre of “a clash of civilizations.” He listed 7 major civilisations in the world, of which Islamic and Confucian civilisations, were but two of them.
What is interesting about Huntington’s work was not a vision or strategy to guide the post Cold War concept of the US foreign policy — that different civilisations would clash, therefore, the West, should be careful not to let down on its guards since most of the angst would be aimed at it — but the strong possibility of the Islamic world and the Confucian one joining hand in hand to face off against the West.
The premium placed on the word “axis” suggests some degree of collective resistance against the West. At any rate, the article created a huge outcry in the Islamic world, that this thesis was an attempt to demonise the Ummah (the Muslim community across the world).
But lacking credible intellectuals and thinkers of impeccable pedigree, the Muslim world could not grasp the “hikmah” or wisdom of Huntington, much as he was trying to stir up a hornet’s next.
Instead of believing the the Confucian and Islamic world join together to challenge the West, the Muslim intellectuals and thinkers should have converted the rather bellicose concept of the “Confucian Islamic Axis” into a “Confucian Islamic Alliance.”
With the exception of Turkey, which espoused the idea of “Alliance Among Civilisations,” (AOC), this together with the Spanish government in 2004, an ideal that was formally parked in the United Nations (UN), almost no one could see the Confucian and Islamic world working side by side to learn, and trade from each other.
This opportunity is still there. But it is being frittered or wasted away. How? Indeed, why? Huntington’s concept of Confucian did include China, South Korea, Japan and even Vietnam. Of the four, China’s current regime has taken a rather harsh stance against some of its own minorities, especially Uighurs in Xinjiang and Utsul Muslims in Sanya, Hainan Island.
Take the treatment of Uighur Muslims, for example. Some 1 million to 1.5 million, going up to 3 million Uighur Muslims, are being surveilled, watched, and ultimately, detained. Accounts coming out from reputable organisations such as Human Right Watch, or, even news networks such as Vice or Vox, that are freely available in You Tube, point to a variety of Uighur Muslims being detained on a wide spectrum of frivolous reasons.
If a Uighur women wears a scarf, perhaps, hizab, she would be summarily detained. Based on the testimony of some victims, each jail cell can have up to 60 people squeezed altogether.
If and when religious scriptures are found in a Uighur Muslim’s house, that person and the extended family can be sentenced to 10-15 years of long imprisonment, which China refers to as “re-education,” or “vocational training.”
To the degree China does not want to invite further criticism, some of these detainees are transformed into forced labour, by dispersing them to different factories and provinces to carry out their work.
The list of crimes are both incredulous and incredible, inviting China or those who support China to argue that these laments are nothing but sheer propaganda out to destroy the good name of China in the international community.
But BBC and CNN news in Bahasa Indonesia have verified that these indiscretions are real. It is not the West saying it but political parties in Indonesia and Malaysia too.
By missing out on forming a Confucian Islamic Alliance, China is hurting its own Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The latter traverses through 30 Muslim countries or more.
Alliance or Axis? The leadership in China has to make a swift and quick decision. Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, consequently, Taiwan, do not appear to have any problems in working with the Muslim world.
It boggles the mind that Beijing needs to resort to iron fisted methods to crack down on Uighur Muslims, and other religions too, including Christianity and Buddhism, all of which are diligently recorded in Deutsche World.
The proof is indisputable, and if China were to keep heading in that direction, it stands accused of committing genocide, too, according to Adrian Zenz, and a growing number of international scholars.
Why? In the next 10 to 15 years, the Uighur Muslims would disappear, especially when their women are compelled to go through a process of mass sterilisation.
Dr. Rais Hussin is President & CEO of EMIR Research, an independent think tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based on rigorous research.