One Less Reporter in China (on Terrorism)

Long-time French reporter, Ursula Gauthier, was accused of publishing wrongful information about the Chinese government piggy backing on the terrorisn they’re dealing with in Xinjiang (occupied by Muslim Uighurs) soon after the Paris attacks.

I’ve written enough about how the Chinese government targets Uighurs as terrorists, and the government will exercise their power toward people who speak ill of them. So I would like to write about something else and it will deviate from the focus of this blog. You can skip right to the article, which I copied and pasted from MSN which got it from the Associated Press.

Terrorism exists. It has also existed in the past. Take the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) for example.  In the late-1800s, early-1900s, they were created to put Blacks in (what these racist White folks believe is) their rightful place. They lynched, a can’t-miss key term in American history, is when a mob takes justice in their hands – usually by hanging so everyone can see – without a legal trial.  They threatened and harassed.  They essentially tortured Black Americans post-Reconstruction (after the Civil War was fought and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were passed that more or less legally integrated Blacks into mainstream society).  What the KKK did was domestic terrorism.

In the present, Muslims are the obvious targets of terrorism, and a certain U.S. presidential candidate isn’t helping to dispel these fearful and hateful reactions about Muslims and terrorism.  Let’s be more educated than him for a few moments.

There are multiple sects of Islam, much like there are multiple sects of Christianity (Catholicism, Mormonism, FLDS, Baptist, Anglicans, etc.) Buddhism (Mahayana, Theraveda, Tibetan, Chan, etc.), pick your favorite religion.

And one of the Islamic sects is a fundamental and radical group that chooses to emphasize what they want to believe and ignoring the rest, because the rest goes against what that group chooses to emphasize.  It’s like choosing to only look at a close-up of an image and ignoring the rest.  Like looking at one hat on George Seurrat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

These radical groups are also a tiny fraction of the world population of Muslims.  (Fun facts: 23% of the world’s population are Muslims and most of the Muslim population live in Indonesia).  So don’t assume, target, place biases and judgments that all Muslims are terrorists; it’s just the few who make all Muslims look bad.

Also, don’t forget about those young, impressionable, non-Middle Eastern converts who find this radical sect of Islam very appealing.

I don’t need to remind you about the Crusades, right? Or the Inquisition? Or those Spanish explorers who came to the Americas and forced Native Americans into Catholicism and ridding their culture? The American government doing something similar to the Italians and Latinos.  Of course I don’t.

Plenty of examples of hatred, bigotry, insensitivity, intolerance, and _insert appropriate adjective(s) here_ others done so in reaction to fear, so educate yourselves.  Unless you don’t have access to information, you have no excuse to not education yourself.

China expels French reporter who questioned terrorism

Ursula Gauthier: French journalist Ursula Gauthier, a reporter for the French news magazine L'Obs, poses for a photo in her apartment in Beijing, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. China said Saturday it will not renew press credentials for Gauthier, effectively expelling her following a harsh media campaign against her for questioning the official line equating ethnic violence in the western Muslim region with global terrorism.
French journalist Ursula Gauthier, a reporter for the French news magazine L’Obs, poses for a photo in her apartment in Beijing, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015. China said Saturday it will not renew press credentials for Gauthier, effectively expelling her following a harsh media campaign against her for questioning the official line equating ethnic violence in the western Muslim region with global terrorism.


BEIJING — China said Saturday that it will not renew press credentials for a French journalist, effectively expelling her following a harsh media campaign against her for questioning the official line equating ethnic violence in China’s western Muslim region with global terrorism.

Expecting the move, Ursula Gauthier, a longtime journalist for the French news magazine L’Obs, said late Friday night that she was prepared to leave China.

Once she departs on Dec. 31, she will become the first foreign journalist forced to leave China since 2012, when American Melissa Chan, then working for Al Jazeera in Beijing, was expelled.

“They want a public apology for things that I have not written,” Gauthier said. “They are accusing me of writing things that I have not written.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that Gauthier was no longer “suitable” to be allowed to work in China because she had supported “terrorism and cruel acts” that killed civilians and refused to apologize for her words.

“China has always protected the legal rights of foreign media and foreign correspondents to report within the country, but China does not tolerate the freedom to embolden terrorism,” Lu said in a statement.

Gauthier on Saturday called the accusations “absurd,” and said that emboldening terrorism is morally and legally wrong. “I should be legally persecuted if that’s the case,” she said.

“All this is rhetoric,” Gauthier said. “It’s only meant to deter foreign correspondents in the future in Beijing.”

In a statement Friday, the French foreign ministry said: “We regret that the visa of Madame Ursula Gauthier was not renewed. France recalls the importance of the role journalists play throughout the world.”

The fallout began with Gauthier’s Nov. 18 article, shortly after the attacks in Paris. She wrote that Beijing’s proclaimed solidarity with Paris is not without ulterior motives, as Beijing seeks international support for its assertion that the ethnic violence in its Muslim region of Xinjiang is part of global terrorism.

Gauthier wrote that some of the violent attacks in Xinjiang involving members of the minority Uighur community appeared to be homegrown, with no evidence of foreign ties — an observation that has been made by numerous foreign experts on security and on Xinjiang’s ethnic policies and practices.

Advocacy groups have argued that the violence is more likely to be a response to Beijing’s suppressive policies in Xinjiang.

Beijing blames the violence on terrorism with foreign ties. Amid a counterterrorism campaign, a Xinjiang court last year sentenced a Uighur (pronounced WEE-gur) scholar critical of China’s ethnic policies in Xinjiang to life in prison. This month, a Beijing court convicted a prominent lawyer of fanning ethnic hatred based on his comments that Beijing should rethink its Xinjiang policies.

In her article, Gauthier focused on a deadly mine attack in a remote region of Xinjiang, which she described as more likely an act by Uighurs against mine workers of the majority Han ethnic group over what the Uighurs perceived as mistreatment, injustice and exploitation.

The article quickly drew stern criticism from state media and China’s government.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized Western media for using double standards in reporting on the violence.

“Why is terrorism in other countries called terrorist actions, but it turns out to be ethnic and religious issues in China?” ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing on Dec. 2.

By then, state media had launched an abusive and intimidating campaign against Gauthier, accusing her of having deep prejudice against China and having hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

On Friday, Gauthier said that the Foreign Ministry demanded her to apologize for “hurting Chinese people’s feelings with wrong and hateful actions and words,” and to publicly state that she recognizes that there have been terrorist attacks in and outside Xinjiang.

She said she was also asked to distance herself from any support group that presents her case as infringement of press freedom in China.


Associated Press writers Louise Watt in Beijing and Lori Hinnant in Paris contributed to this report.


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I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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