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April 27th, 2015

The Uighurs in China – Masking Ethnic Violence with the Global War on Terror

Talha Sadiq, Blog Writer

The Indigenous Uighur ethnic Muslim minority in China’s western Xinjiang region has been in constant dispute with the Central Chinese authorities since 1949. Authorities have curtailed the Uighurs’ religious, economic and cultural activities in line with Communist China’s opposition to religion. Lately, authorities have also increased action against Uighurs after street protests in Xinjiang in the 1990s, and attacks at the start of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Consequently, hundreds of Uighurs have been killed or sentenced to death. The number of criminal trial increased by 40 percent in the Xinjiang region in 2013 primarily to persecute ethno-religious minorities. Uighurs along with Tibetans and other ethno-religious minorities in China have been persecuted since the Chinese Revolution.  However, persecution of the Ugihurs has seen an increase  since the increase of the global hysteria around Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.  Many prominent Uighurs leaders have been hanged and imprisoned in Guantanamo as well under accusations of terrorism. Central Chinese authorities are suspected of overstating the threat from Uighur separatists in order to justify ongoing repression in the region. The official version from Beijing claims that Uighur militants are waging a violent campaign for an independent state by terrorist means. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 20th, 2015

Genocide at Home? Responsibility for Canada’s Treatment of Indigenous Peoples

Solaye Snider, Blog Writer

The final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), conceived to “investigate and document the history and intergenerational legacy of residential schools,” is due to be released in late June of this year.  It is expected that the release of the TRC’s report will again spark “a national debate” about whether Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people constitutes “genocide”.  Read the rest of this entry »

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April 13th, 2015

Getting Informed – In an Age of Misinformation and Denial

By Derek Congram, Lecturer on Peace, Conflict, and Justice at the Munk School of Global Affairs

I grew up in the suburbs of Windsor, Ontario. There was a large Slavic (and specifically South, or Jugo, Slav) population in the area, many having immigrated to work at the Big Three auto factories. My friends and classmates growing up included a Brkovic, Chuk, Sladic, and Stankovic. But in elementary and high school my only knowledge of Serbia, Croatia, and by proxy Bosnia, was due to the nation-linked second generation soccer teams in the city and their respective cultural centres. When wars broke out in the 1990s, these friends did not talk to me about them. The wars were neither a subject of conversation at school nor, for me at least, at home. I’m still confused and, admittedly, embarrassed that the only reason I knew about the siege of Sarajevo was because U2 recorded a song about it (Miss Sarajevo), which they were playing on the radio. In hindsight, I find it remarkable – even though I was not actively seeking to be informed – that I could know almost nothing about the ongoing wars in the fragmenting Yugoslavia and associated war crimes, crimes against humanity, firefights involving Canadian peace-keepers, and ultimately genocide.

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April 9th, 2015

Myanmar’s Democratic Turn Brings Cold Comfort to Rohingya Muslim Minority

Evan Gray, Blog Writer

In 2010, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) elected its first semi-civilian government since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. Since then, the country has experienced a period of rapid reform under President Thein Sein, leader of the military-dominated Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). Although recent reversals have caused many to question the sincerity of the current government’s desire for reform, Myanmar has experienced a significant opening of its political system, news media and economy since the (admittedly flawed) 2010 elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 9th, 2015

Canada’s Role in the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Aiding the EU in the Mediterranean

Chad Rickaby, Blog Writer

The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly. Antonio Guiterres, the second term High Commissioner, has stated that the situation in Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis since the Rwandan genocide. The resulting refugee crisis is a tragic humanitarian disaster that should be considered of direct concern to the global community. Calls by the Commissioner, “to keep borders open and receive all Syrians who seek protection,” need to be recognized by the global community, including Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

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