From China to Turkey: The Uighurs in a Position of a New Asia’s Rising Force in the Global Jihad

12 January 2017; Siegfried O. Wolf

AFP PHOTO / HAIDAR HAMDANI (Photo credit should read HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

On New Year’s Eve, Istanbul had to witness another major terrorist incident. The gunman who attacked a popular night club in the Turkish Metropole and murdered 39 people and severely injured many more, most likely belonged to the Uighurs, a Muslim community residing in China.[1] This became evident for the Turkish authorities, especially after they arrested numerous suspicious Uighurs in the aftermath of the bloody assault. Being a NATO member and a significant partner in the US-led coalition fighting ISIS (particularly in Syria), Turkey is getting increasingly identified by international terrorists who represent the main target in their Global Jihad.[2] As such, the experience with terrorist attacks at the Bosporus is nothing new.[3] Continue reading “From China to Turkey: The Uighurs in a Position of a New Asia’s Rising Force in the Global Jihad”

Istanbul attack: Why China’s Uighurs are joining global jihadist groups

6 January 2017; by Siegfried O. Wolf

Exclusives interview with Deutsche Welle, conducted by Shamil Shams:

Turkish authorities have arrested a number of people of Uighur origin over the New Year’s Eve attack

The Turkish government has arrested several Uighur Muslims in connection with Istanbul’s nightclub attack. In a DW interview, analyst Siegfried O. Wolf explains why the Uighur issue has expanded beyond China’s borders.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak said Thursday that the gunman who attacked Istanbul’s Reina nightclub during New Year’s celebrations is likely from China’s Muslim Uighur minority and was a “specially trained member of a (terror) cell.” Turkish authorities have also arrested a number of people of Uighur origin over the attack that killed 39 people. Continue reading “Istanbul attack: Why China’s Uighurs are joining global jihadist groups”

Pakistani and Afghan refugees fear backlash after Berlin attack

20 December 2016; Siegfried O. Wolf

The Berlin terrorism attack has raised concerns about violence against Germany’s asylum seekers. DW spoke to several refugees from Pakistan and Afghanistan about their impression of the situation. On Monday night, a truck slammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin, killing at least 12 people and wounding 48. The suspected driver was detained near the scene while a passenger – reported to be a Polish national – was found dead in the truck. The attention for the first day of investigations, however, was focused on the origins of the suspect: Some news agencies are suggesting that the driver was a 23-year-old Pakistan refugee, who came to Germany last year. He could well be an Afghan or Afghan-Pakistani. By Tuesday evening, police had released the suspect due to insufficient evidence. Continue reading “Pakistani and Afghan refugees fear backlash after Berlin attack”

Hindutva and Citizenship in India: Helping Refugees or Building Vote Banks?

25 July 2016

Image by Bharath Joshi

One of the most noteworthy developments in Indian politics is the occurrence of a phenomenon often described as Hindu-Nationalism or Hindutva-movement (Bhatt 2001; Jaffrelot 2007, 1996; Zavos 2000). The movement refers to efforts to undertake dramatic changes within the political culture of India. This attempted transformation of state and society, which manifested itself through ‘communal violence’ – clashes between different religious communities especially between Hindus and Muslims (Engineer 2003; 1987) and actions aimed at challenging constitutional provisions such as secularism in combination with increasingly radical socio-political demands, have posed a threat to the Indian model of consensus democracy and have sadly lived up to bleak forecasts (Basu et.al. 1993).

Continue reading “Hindutva and Citizenship in India: Helping Refugees or Building Vote Banks?”

It’s Not Only about Illegal Migration & International Law: The Uighur Conundrum

21 July 2016; by Siegfried O. Wolf

Image by mike.benedetti

There is much media attention on Thailand’s latest deportation of more than 100 Uighur back to China, which was officially confirmed on 9 July 2015. The asylum seekers which entered the South East Asian country illegally got subsequently detained by the Thai immigration authorities and held in custody for over a year. In order to find a solution, the Royal Thai government finally decided to hand them over to China ‘under the agreement that their safety is guaranteed according to humanitarian principles’. Nevertheless, Bangkok had to face immense criticism by the international community, especially through human rights organisations and the United Nations. UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, proclaimed he is considering the deportation of the Uighurs as ‘a flagrant violation of international law’. Additionally, in several countries such as Turkey and Germany, remarkable protests broke out not only to express solidarity with the Uighurs but also to formulate grievances about the manner in which deportation was carried out.

Continue reading “It’s Not Only about Illegal Migration & International Law: The Uighur Conundrum”

Hurting the Host: The Rationale of the Afghan Exodus

8 October 2015

Image by Marianna Karakoulaki

Afghanistan has experienced close to four decades of perpetual violence wars, political upheavals, and religious and ethnic clashes, resulting in millions of Afghans fleeing to neighbouring countries for protection. Facing the Soviet invasion after the Saur revolution and the ensuing civil conflict, between 1979 and the early 1990s approximately [1] six million escaped to Pakistan and Iran, marking the first exodus of Afghan refugees. Continue reading “Hurting the Host: The Rationale of the Afghan Exodus”

Rohingya Crisis and the ‘Boat People’ Conference: Towards a Regional Solution?

18 June 2015; by Siegfried O. Wolf

Image by European Commission DG ECHO

To respond to the ‘alarming rise in the irregular movement of persons in the Indian Ocean’, the Royal Thai Government organized the ‘Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean’ on May 29th, 2015 in Bangkok. Subsequently seventeen countries convened in Thailand’s capital to address the then called ‘boat people problem’ in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Among the participants [1]were high-level representatives of the five most affected countries namely Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. The fact that Sri Lanka, India as well as Afghanistan joined this significant event underpins the fact that the ‘boat people’ crisis is an issue which involves not only the intersection between South Asia and South East Asia but also the respective subcontinents on the whole. Continue reading “Rohingya Crisis and the ‘Boat People’ Conference: Towards a Regional Solution?”