Book Review: The Art of Symbolic Resist…

Writing on the Uyghur people has not been lacking in recent months. An uptick of violence since 2013 in Xinjiang has seen an increase in analysis that sometimes reveals more about the author than the issue. Nevertheless, this proliferation of commentary has raised some valuable questions about the roots of the current turmoil in China’s northwest. Theories mainly revolve around a last ditch resistance to intrusive and repressive state policies or the poisonous effects of Islamic extremism. Others have cast their nets further and claimed the violence stems from a struggle against colonialism, while the Chinese state media frequently, but not always, appears convinced the hand of foreign-inspired jihadism is to blame.

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