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    Resource Guides

    The Uyghur Crisis & Islam in East Asia

    We have compiled the following list of resources for teachers interested in learning more about what we presented in our 2021 "The Uyghur Crisis and Islam in Asia" workshop as a reflective curriculum within their classroom. To keep up with our pedagogical workshops, check out our News & Events page.


    Uyghur Protest 3What's Happening to Uyghurs?

    A podcast in which On the Media's Bob Garfield discusses the Uyghur Crisis with historian Rian Thuma, who has studied Uyghur culture for 20 years and written about the Chinese government's activities. The two discuss the motivations behind the Chinese government's attempts to suppress, control, and eradicate the culture of the Uyghur people. Most importantly, Thuma describes the propaganda campaign generated by the Chinese government, designed to both justify and conceal Uyghur oppression and imprisonment in the eyes of the international community, and the efforts made by scholars and journalists to uncover the truth of the camps and expose it the world at large.




    Xinjiang Papers Xinjiang Papers: 'Absolutely No Mercy'

    A 2019 episode from The Daily, a New York Times podcast, focused on a massive leak of Chinese government documents, over 400 pages, "revealing the meticulous planning that has gone into the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities." These leaked documents revealed and confirmed China's internment of up to a million people. In this episode, Paul Mozur, a technology reporter for The New York Times based in Shanghai, spoke with Ferkat Jawdat, a Uyghur American citizen who lives in Virginia. Their conversation focuses on the papers themselves and their implications.


    Belt and Road InitiativeChina's Belt and Road: A Closed Gateway

    A 2019 special from National Public Radio's Morning Edition, focused on China's highly ambitious international infrastructure project, One Belt One Road or The Belt and Road Initiative. A large portion of the projects' railways, highways, and pipelines point westward towards Pakistan and Central Asia, cutting through the Xinjiang province of northwest China, a region populated by the Uyghur ethnic minority and brutally monitored by the Chinese government  This episode investigates the connection between this infrastructure project and the concealed abuse, repression, and cultural genocide of the Uyghur people by the Chinese government.


    Uyghur Forced Labor

    Black Gold: How Global Demand for Hair Products is Linked to Forced Labor in Xinjiang

    Globally, the commodity of human hair is known as “black gold” -- due to the continued rise in its value. The majority of hair products come from Asia, mostly China. Now, some of the Chinese factories supplying thousands of kilograms of hair to the American market are under scrutiny by the United States government, which is alleging the use of forced labor in the country’s far western region of Xinjiang in factory extensions of Uyghur internment camps. Beijing has called the camps “vocational training centers” and says the expansion of factory jobs campaigners have linked to the camps is part of a “poverty alleviation” program.


    Uyghur men end of RamadanU.S. Terrorism Policy in Relationship to the Uyghur Crisis

    An article on the United States' global war on terror and how this ideological export came to influence propaganda used to justify the internment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. "The uncomfortable truth is that in the years after 9/11, the United States was often willing to accept China’s depiction of Xinjiang as a strategic outpost in its global war on terrorism. In 2001, the U.S. government held 22 Uighurs in Guantánamo Bay—a decision now widely seen as a mistake. Then, as now, China has worked to tie the Uighur separatist movement to international terrorism."


    Nepali WomanNepal / China: How Mountains Became Borders

    A brief documentary from Vox on the endangered lifestyle of the indigenous people, The Bön, one of the many ethnic and religious minorities that escaped to the remote, high-altitude terrain of the Himalayas over a thousand years to preserve their culture when predatory powers tried to force them to assimilate. These nomadic herders rely on the ability of their animals to graze in order to retain their pastoral lifestyle but external forces are beginning to threaten this way of life.



    India China Border DisputeBattle for the Himalayas: China - India Border Conflict

    This New York Times article provides an interactive understanding of the 2020 China - India border conflict, during which the two countries became embroiled in a "tense, deadly struggle for advantage on their disputed mountain border. In June of 2020, a deadly brawl killed 20 Indian border troops and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers, punctuating a decades-old border dispute that has become one of the world’s most intractable geopolitical conflicts. It has inflamed tensions at a time when the world is consumed by the coronavirus pandemic, and it has scuttled recent efforts by the two Asian powers to set aside their historical differences."


    TibetTibet's Unsettled Borders

    A brief article on the Chinese government's administrative definition of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) and the conception of the Tibetan homeland held by Tibet's exiled national government, based in Northern India. About half of Tibetans are estimated to live in regions officially considered exterior to TAR, which gives an explanation as to why Tibetan Freedom Protests frequently occur outside of what the Chinese government deems its official national boundaries.


    Race EthnicityWhat's the difference between race and ethnicity?

    A brief article meant to help clarify the difference between race and ethnicity. "These words are often used interchangeably, but technically, they're defined as separate things. "'Race' and 'ethnicity' have been and continue to be used as ways to describe human diversity," said Nina Jablonski, an anthropologist and palaeobiologist at The Pennsylvania State University, who is known for her research into the evolution of human skin color. "Race is understood by most people as a mixture of physical, behavioral and cultural attributes. Ethnicity recognizes differences between people mostly on the basis of language and shared culture." 


    Uyghur stall"I was in China doing research when I saw my Uyghur friends disappear."

    An article by Dr. Sarah Tynen, a guest speaker of our workshop and an instructor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Tynen's article recounts the time in which they lived in Urumqi, a district of Xinjiang, and the increase they witnessed in police surveillance, discriminatory housing practices, house raids, evictions, and arrests during this period of time.




    Uyghur PeopleWho are the Uyghurs and why is the Chinese Government detaining them?

    A brief article explaining the history of the Uyghur people, the history of discrimination experienced since the annexation of Xinjiang by The People's Republic of China in 1949, the contemporary relationship of oppression and terror between China and the Uyghur people, and avenues of pressure from the international community available in the fight to preserve Uyghur Human Rights.



    Uyghur Desert ShrinesChina is Erasing Mosques and Precious Shrines in Xinjiang

    An incredible compilation of images recording the desecration and erasure of shrines and mosques in the Xinjiang, as well as an article detailing how this effort to erase history is part of China’s broader campaign to turn the region’s Uighurs, Kazakhs and members of other Central Asian ethnic groups into loyal followers of the Communist Party... The new report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research group based in Canberra... estimated that around 8,500 mosques across Xinjiang have been completely demolished since 2017 — more than a third of the number of mosques the government says are in the region.


    Xinjiang Surveillance StateLife Inside China's Total Surveillance State

    In this 2017 Wall Street Journal Investigative Video, journalist Clement Burge demonstrates the degree to which Xinjiang is monitored by an unprecedented surveillance state. "China has turned the northwestern region of Xinjiang into a vast experiment in domestic surveillance. WSJ investigated what life is like in a place where one's every move can be monitored with cutting-edge technology."



    Uyghur Women Outside ShrineThe Targeting of Uyghur Muslims

    Why, in recent years, has the Chinese government targeted a religious, ethnic minority, and what is the responsibility of the international community to respond? The teaching ideas provided within this article give information and context to help students understand how China is repressing the Uighur minority and encourage students to consider the experiences of a religious minority group regarded with suspicion and targeted with discriminatory policies and incarceration.



    Uyghur WomenFive-Day Uyghur Lesson Plan

    This document is a one-week lesson plan consisting of five one-hour lessons on the history of Uyghurs and East Turkistan, and on the modern-day repression campaign being perpetrated against Uyghurs in China by the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Through teaching about Uyghurs, these lessons teach skills such as reading comprehension, source analysis, argument analysis and synthesis, research, summary and verbal presentation, and argumentative writing. These lessons are designed for 11th and 12th-grade social science and history students but could be taught in other grade levels. The activities in the lessons are ideally suited to classroom learning. However, acknowledging that many schools have transitioned to distance learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, each lesson contains a note on how to adapt the lesson for distance learning.




    Lesson of the Day: China's Oppression of Muslims in Xinjiang

    In this lesson, created by Michael Gonchar and Nicole Daniels of The New York Times, students will learn about what is going on in Xinjiang and why the State Department decided to term the Uyghur Crisis in Xinjiang a “genocide.” Then, students will consider what the United States and the world should do to protect the Uighurs in China. This lesson will include a series of warm-up questions, a brief educational video, questions for writing and discussion, as well as a brief history of the term "genocide."

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    Housed within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas NCTA aims to empower elementary and secondary school teachers to center East Asian art, literature, history, and culture in their classrooms.

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