Mariya Omelicheva stated that the government in Kazakhstan has ‘securitized’ political discourse. The “securitization” drive by the government is highly relevant to the situation in Xinjiang. With more localized forms of Islam and “individualization of Islam” in Kazakhstan, different forms of Islam co-exist. However, the government recognizes only a few and curbs any practices of Islam that it does not identify with. This leads to serious falsification of Islamic groups in the province, just as it did for the Uyghurs of the Xinjiang province under the Han government.
The Xinjiang province was initially inhabited by Uyghurs, an Islamic group, till the 1940s, when the Han Government of China began intruding into the province. Ever since, the Uyghurs suffered from misrepresentation, poverty, oppression and other such grievances at the hands of in-migration and interference of Han government and its people. The Han government due to its lack of recognition of the Islam followed by Uyghurs strongly controlled their activities including their Islamic education, which led to increased unrest and dissatisfaction in the decades of 1980s and 90’s (Hastings). The rebellion saw Uyghur rebels perpetrate bombings and cause violence in the province. This resulted in a severe crack down by the Han government and many Uyghurs were killed (Hastings). The severe laws against Uyghur activities still exist in China
When speaking in context of Xinjiang, Omelicheva’s prospect of ‘securitization’ may reflect a similar form of development. “Securitization” of certain Muslims in Kazakhstan may inadvertently lead to unrest in those Muslim communities living here. Such measures as securitization may lead to oppression and dissatisfaction of this community leading to a situation very similar to Xinjiang problem faced by the Chinese.
Hastings, JV. Charting the Course of Uyghur Unrest. The China Quarterly / Volume 208 / December 2011. 5 Jan, 2012.
Omelicheva, M.Y. Islam in Kazakhstan: a survey of contemporary trends and sources of securitization. Central Asian Survey, Vol. 30. 2 Jun, 2011.