Thursday 9 July 2009

Multiculturalism at its finest

Funny how no one mentions multiculturalism when people from different ethnic groups start to kill each other in large numbers.

Few talk of brutality by their own side except to rationalise what went on. "We Han Chinese are organising to protect ourselves," says Chen. Uighurs only talk to me cautiously, out of fear of police reprisals and also of Uighur informants.

A quietly spoken woman in Shaanxi Lane confirms she saw out her window her fellow Uighurs slaughtering Chinese people. "But this does not mean they are animals," she says. "Do you know June 26?" - referring to the murder of at least two Uighur workers by Chinese mobs in Guangdong province.

Asked whether she saw Uighurs killed, she switches to English and answers in code. "Those women are Muslims," she says, nodding towards two women dressed in black with white headscarves. "Muslim women wear white scarves when they are in mourning."

A Chinese construction worker said he watched Uighurs slaughtering Chinese - "slicing their throats like lambs" - in Shaanxi Lane and then armed police killing Uighurs. Uighurs have claimed that "hundreds" of their own were massacred on Sunday night, but the facts are thin on the ground.
Can't we all just get along? Sing kum-ba-ya and all that?

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