While the Chinese culture war is not a complete model for government policy, it might provide helpful ideas for Americans.
This blog entry showed up in my Facebook feed and I think it is quite interesting: “China Declares War on Islam!”
As an American and a Christian who believes that the government is not responsible for all aspects of society, I can’t approve of every tool the communist government gives itself in the Chinese culture war with Islamic violence. But I do think that we as Americans might learn a few lessons from this post and also might criticize the way our government is imposing policies that are dangerous (as well as unconstitutional).
Before a Muslim community gets into Jihad mode, the first thing they do is call on all Muslims to repent from alcohol, pork and tobacco.
It is this spark which begins the process rolling, as small groups of Muslims begin to push that agenda on Muslim communities by using peer-pressure. When this happens, it is a sign that trouble is ahead. Pretty soon they begin to demand a change in laws in order to force the host to acquiesce to their demands.
This problem exists in any society where Islam is allowed. So when giving Muslims “freedom of religion,” the ball gets rolling and soon Islam’s ethics begins to conflict with the host nation.
So, basically, the Chinese government has recognized that Islamic “revival” of this kind leads to violence and terrorism.
China understands that spreading Islam starts by peer pressure and public scorn towards anyone who smokes or drinks alcohol. For example, in the village of Aktash in southern Xinjiang, Communist Party official Adil Sulayman, said that many local shopkeepers had stopped selling alcohol and cigarettes from 2012 “because they fear public scorn,” while many locals had decided to abstain from drinking and smoking.
In reality, it is the Islamists who are imposing their Sharia driven agenda on the public and the Chinese government is thwarting their attempts. For example, in one unrelated incident in neighboring Qinghai province on Friday, an angry crowd of Muslims smashed windows of a supposedly halal store in Xining city, after pork sausages and ham were found in a delivery van, according to the local government and photographs on social media.
If these Islamic aggressors were tolerated, then businesses would capitulate to them rather than risk this kind of violence.
The Chinese culture war prohibits this sort of compromise:
The Chinese authorities launched a series of “strike hard” campaigns to weaken the hold of the drug of Islam in China’s western region. So they have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant owners in its troubled Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and cigarettes, and even promote them in “eye-catching displays,” as Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. Alcohol and tobacco, while it is a problem, to the Chinese is the lesser of the two evils. So now establishments that failed to comply were swiftly dealt with and were threatened with closure and their owners with prosecution.
The notice ordered all restaurants and supermarkets in Aktash to sell five different brands of alcohol and cigarettes and display them prominently. “Anybody who neglects this notice and fails to act will see their shops sealed off, their businesses suspended, and legal action pursued against them,” the notice said.
Again, I am not agreeing with these laws as the right way to combat Islamic violence. In the United States, a culture that reveres freedom, a robust Second Amendment, and a government vigorously prosecuting lawbreaking should be enough.
But do we have that?
The only reason we have maintained the Second Amendment is due to some amazingly good court decisions (who knows how soon the government will be able to make sure no more of those are permitted in our Judicial branch!), and a populist revolt in favor of gun ownership (one of the best trends in the country in the last few years).
And what about a culture of freedom? In one of the most understated paragraphs in the blog post we read:
So while some might think that China is imposing on freedoms, it becomes a tough balance, westerners need to ask themselves as to why they impose on Christians to bake cakes for gays with an agenda. So while we complain about China, where are the massive complaints about forcing Christian shops to acquiesce to the LGBT?
It is even worse because we have yet to see any attempt to subject Islamic businesses with the same impositions that are being imposed on Christians. I suspect homosexuals know better than to try it. Much safer to bully and bankrupt Christians.
Which brings us to the question of the rigorous enforcement of the law. When we have a government that is obviously turning a blind eye to Muslims while persecuting Christians for following their conscience, as well as openly pretending there is no connection between Islam and violence, what are we communicating to current and future Muslim extremists?