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Uyghurs and terrorism - Use of realistic conflict theory

Let's look at the Uighur terrorism throught the lens of the social psychology

Why did the Uighur (Muslims) resort to extremism against the Chinese? To answer that question Victoria Terhune and Jonathan Matusiz decided to apply the Realistic Conflict Theory in understanding Uighur terrorist activities.

The Realistic Conflict Theory points out that disagreements over limited resources leads to intergroup conflict. When the “in-group” identity strengthens, it leads to negative stereotypes and discriminating behaviours towards members of the “out-group”.

In that case the relationships between the Uighurs and Chinese were difficult, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomus Region is an area rich in natural resources and a strategic economic spot for chinese trade with Russia and other countries of Central Asia.

However the Chinese imposed restriction in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous region by forced migration in the name of religion and language. That made more Uighurs to likely accept radical forms of Islam, because they felt that their identity had been violated.

Musilms started to protest, but after the intervention of the chinese army - 50 of them were left dead.

The threat and attacking the Uighurs autonomy increased their “in-group” connection, at the same time increasing the distance with Chinese. Similar process took part in Chinese side - they started to treat Uighurs as citizens of the second category.

How can we deradicalise this process?

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