Don’t let semantics fool you -- ISIS believes that they are the righteous Muslims who follow the sunnah (example) of Muhammad down to the letter, hoping to gain their ticket to heaven through works. In fact, being this literal in their following is not un-Islamic at all. With majority of the Muslims in the world believing that out of 73 sects, only one will be able to enter heaven, is ISIS it? While ISIS might have lost territory and ground in the Middle East due to coalition forces, the idea continues to spread across the world, with South East Asia being one of the focal points. However, the winds of change might just be knocking on China’s door, the world’s most populous nation. The latest ISIS video depicts the daily routines of Chinese Uighur fighters, as well as a child in the vicinity who actually witnessed the execution.
The official ISIS media outlet revealed a video that is 30 minutes long at the end of last month, and this marks for the very first time that China is being threatened with such ideology -- and perhaps, attacks. One of the scenes actually saw a militant address the camera, prior to carrying out an execution. He mentioned, “you Chinese people who don’t understand the language of the people, we the soldiers of the Caliphate will come to you to teach you the language of weapons, to spill rivers of blood as revenge against the oppressors.”
After that short line of his, the man then turned his attention to the victim who was adorned in an orange jumpsuit (which seems to be the modus operandi for ISIS -- remember those who were beheaded by the beach in Egypt?) while being hung upside down from the ceiling. The victim had his throat slit, while there was a young , and slits his throat while a young boy looks on in a nonchalant manner.
Uighurs happen to be a Turkic ethnic group, where the majority of them reside in China’s western Xinjiang province. They are the ones who practice Islam (at last count, there are approximately 30 million Muslims in China), and have often been the target of the Chinese government when it comes to religious and security reasons. In the latest video, there were references made concerning Chinese government persecution of the Uighur minority, as well as footage of Muslims being detained by Chinese security forces shown.
Apart from that, young children and teenage boys being armed were also shown off the in video, where they had to go through religious training in addition to military know-how. These children were not playing with toys, but rather, given actual weapons to train with, while one of the child soldiers actually simulated the execution of a “prisoner” who was kneeling. In another scene, a child who was referred to as Abd al-Rashid al-Turkistani, actually executed a prisoner who knelt down by using a pistol. This is all certainly very disconcerting to say the least.
It must be noted that ISIS did attempt to contact the Uighur population in China before, where a 2015 video rallied a clarion call for them to join up with ISIS and migrate to ISIS controlled areas. It would be interesting to see what China's reaction will be to this latest video.