EAST TURKESTAN: A CROSSROAD OF CIVILIZATIONS
The 2,200 years of Turkestan history have played host to some of the
most important civilizations in the world. The area is a wide expanse
of territory, stretching from the Caspian Sea and the southern part of
the Ural Mountains in the west, Siberia in the north, Iran, Afghanistan
and Tibet in the south, and China and Mongolia to the east.
Today, the part of Turkestan that includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is known as West Turkestan, and the area that
has been under Chinese captivity for the last two centuries is known as
East Turkestan. The geographical and strategic importance of Turkestan
is obvious from the great interest shown in the area by Russia and China,
the two regional superpowers. Russia and China have both played very important
roles in Turkestan history, which is why it is divided into two parts
Behind those two countries' refusal to give the region up, no matter
what cost, is its strategic position and its rich underground resources.
For Russia, the Turkish states in the west, and for China, East Turkestan,
are important reserves of raw materials.
Following the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia set up a powerful control
mechanism in West Turkestan where states consisting of different Turkish
tribes were set up. The area was given the name "Soviet Central Asia,"
in place of the name Turkestan by which the land had been known for hundreds
The intention was to do away with the Turks' shared national consciousness.
The most important element of Russia's policy in the region was to eliminate
Islam entirely. Throughout this period, a number of sanctions were employed
in an attempt to destroy the Turks' national cultures; mosques and places
offering religious instruction were closed down and religion was entirely
divorced from social life. Crimean Turks were rounded up and exiled to
Siberia in the course of a single night, and Russians were brought in
to occupy their homes and lands. Furthermore, artificial ethnic conflicts
were incited between the nations of Central Asia. Another of the Soviet
regime's measures aimed at assimilating the Turks was to develop a second
language alongside the mother tongues of the Muslims of the Caucasus and
Central Asia. It is for this reason that Russian is now preferred to Turkish
as a means of communication between the communities in question.
"Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into
peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The
noblest among you in God's sight is the best in conduct. God is
East Turkestan suffered similar oppression to that experienced in West
Turkestan, but in an even more violent form. In the middle of the 1700s,
East Turkestan was invaded by the Chinese. The political changes that
occurred in the region (and the world as a whole) prevented the desire
of the people of East Turkestan for independence from being translated
into reality. China-a country with a total land area of some 10 million
square kilometers-tried to exterminate the people of East Turkestan (also
a giant nation of 2 million square kilometers) by its policies of oppression
Just like the Russians in West Turkestan, the Chinese also changed the
region's name. The new name they used was the "Uighur Autonomous Region
of Sinkiang." They then began to implement the same kinds of policies
used by other imperialist nations. A ruthless war was waged against the
local people's beliefs, customs, and religious practices. Ethnic discrimination
became rife, demands for independence were ferociously suppressed, defenseless
people were exiled from their land, and Chinese settlers were brought
in to replace them. The brutality known as "Chinese torture" and cruelty
soon became reality.
Before going into the details of the oppression, (of which most people
are very unaware), we will review East Turkestan's historical, geo-strategic
and geo-political position.
EAST TURKESTAN: THE CRADLE OF TURKISH-ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION
The history of the lands of Turkestan goes back to the third century
B.C. (the Gokturk and Hun period). The area has been the Turkish homeland
since very early in history, and Islamic territory for a thousand years.
Although no state or khanate bearing the name of Turkestan was ever established,
the area in question, which makes up a large part of Central Asia, has
always been called by that name because it has been a Turkish settlement
area since very ancient times. Researchers describe East Turkestan in
particular as one of the first centers of civilization and, as an area
where, due to its geo-strategic position, Western and Eastern cultures
These lands, which have been home to great empires all through history,
became an indispensable part of the Islamic world after the Turks converted
to Islam during the reign of Caliph Abd al-malik Marwan (b. 646/647-d.
705). The years between 751-1216 A.D. in particular, after Satuk Bughra
Khan (---/d. 955-6) had accepted Islam, are known as the golden age of
East Turkestan. Throughout that period, students from all over the world
came to study at the renowned religious schools and educational institutions
of Turkestan. Statesmen and scientists who would help shape the world
were also trained there. The Turks who migrated from the region to all
corners of the world carried Islam with them to many different countries.
Prominent Islamic scholars such
as Ibn Sina (above), Mahmud al-Kashgari (side) and Farabi (large
picture) were just a few of the important figures to emerge from
The Qarakhan, Ghazna, Khwarezm-Shah, Seljuq and Saidi tribes that were
born in Turkestan set up states under the banner of Islam and provided
outstanding examples of Turkish-Islamic culture, thus rendering a great
service to human kind. Prominent statesmen such as Satuk Bughra Khan (---/d.
955-956), Seljuq Bey (---/d. 1007), Mahmud Ghaznavi (b. 998-d. 1030),
Malik Shah (b. 1055-d. 1092), Timur (b. 1336-d. 1405), and Babur Shah
(b. 1483-d. 1530) were among the great figures who emerged from those
lands. Imam Bukhari, Imam Tirmidhi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Abu Nasr al-Farabi
(Avennasar), Narshaki, Zamakhshari and Marginani, who enriched the libraries
of Islam with their works, were among the great thinkers who forged the
way for other scientists of the world. Furthermore, Makhmud al-Kashgari,
author of the Diwan Lughat at-Turk, Yusuf Khass Khadjib, author
of the Kutadgu Bilig, and Ahmad Yuknaki, the writer of the great
Atabet'ul Haqayiq, also lived in Turkestan, the cradle of Turkish-Islamic
civilization. Scholars such as these, of whom we have cited only a few,
are sufficient to demonstrate the importance of East Turkestan to the
Turkish and Islamic worlds.
Works such as the Kutadgu Bilig
and the Atabet'ul Haqayiq are considered as important to world history
as they are to that of the Turkish-Islamic world.
EAST TURKESTAN IS NOT PART OF CHINA
One of the claims made by China in order
to conceal its human rights violations and repression in East Turkestan
is that the area "forms part of Chinese territory," for which reason events
in East Turkestan "need to be considered a domestic Chinese affair." However,
historical sources disprove that claim. First and foremost is the Great
Wall of China, built by the Chinese to prevent attacks on them by other
nations. This was the first time that China had put up an official border
between itself and the peoples living around it. East Turkestan falls
outside that border.5 Moreover, many sources describe
the Jade Gate (so called because of the many jade stones found there),
as being at China's westernmost border. One of these sources that describes
the gate as opening into East Turkestan is actually a Chinese book, the
New China Atlas, published in Shanghai in 1939.6
The region between the Great Wall of China and the Caspian
Sea, Siberia and Iran, and the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir
and Tibet has been known as Turkestan in not only the earliest Islamic
records, but also in old Iranian and Indian accounts. This is also accepted
by a great many Western historians. Nikita Bichurin, one of the earliest
known Turcologists, has supported that historical truth in these terms:
"A nation lives between the Caspian Sea and the Koh-i Nur Mountains. They
speak Turkish and believe in Islam. They introduce themselves as Turkish
and describe their country as Turkestan."7 Because
these lands were given the name of "Xinjiang" or "Sinkiang"
(meaning "new borders") following their occupation by China does not change
that historical reality.
Over the 2,000 or so years, between 206 B.C. and 1759
A.D., East Turkestan was able to maintain its independence for more than
1,800 years. During the periods when it was linked to the Turkish Hun
and Gokturk khanates, local administration lay entirely in the hands of
the people of East Turkestan. Between 751 and 1216 it was totally independent.
During those periods China periodically occupied East Turkestan in order
to win control of the Silk Road. Yet these occupations were always short-lived,
and China was never able to establish hegemony over East Turkestan in
the true sense of the word. In the 2,200-year history of East Turkestan,
(if we take into account the occupation that started in 1934 and which
is still continuing today) a little more than 570 years have been spent
under Chinese occupation.8
No matter how much the communist Chinese regime claims that
East Turkestan forms part of its own territory, the fact that
it lies beyond the Great Wall of China, which is accepted
as forming that country's natural border, is just one factor
that undermines this claim.
There are also geographic facts that disprove the claim that East Turkestan
is part of China. The make-up of the population of East Turkestan (its
language, religion, ethnic origins, plus its national and spiritual heritage)
all reveal a picture of total independence from China. Panku, the great
historian of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. -- 220 A.D.), expresses this fact:
As for clothing, costume, food and language, the barbarians
[Uighurs] are entirely different from the Middle Kingdom… Mountains, valleys
and the great desert separate them from us.9
That difference was preserved throughout history. Neither was there any
assimilation, even during the periods under Chinese occupation. Today,
54 percent of East Turkestan's estimated population of 17 million are
Muslims, including 47 percent of the Uighurs and 7 percent of the Kazakhs.
(This figure is from statistics issued by China in 1997, and is not accepted
as reliable by international organizations because of China's biased attitude
toward this issue). The Uighurs, who make up a large part of the Muslim
population, bear no ethnic, religious or linguistic similarity to the
Chinese. The Uighur alphabet consists of Arabic letters, they are all
Muslim, and they have been living by Turkish customs and beliefs for more
than 1,000 years.
Throughout history, the Silk Road that passed through East Turkestan
played an important role in the Chinese economy. Behind present-day
China's wish to maintain its rule over East Turkestan lies the strategic
importance of the area.
ll of these historical, geographical and sociological facts make it clear
that East Turkestan is not part of China, but rather a separate region
that China has sought to assimilate. Even under the harshest and most
difficult conditions, the people of East Turkestan never accepted Chinese
rule, and frequently sought to regain their independence, at times even
resorting to armed struggle. For example, when East Turkestan fell under
Manchu rule between 1759 and 1862, the Muslim people rose up and rebelled
against the Chinese more than 40 times.
Why is China so determined to maintain its position on East Turkestan
in the face of all the facts? This should be discussed before turning
to the long years of Chinese oppression.
One factor that totally undermines the claim
that East Turkestan is part of China is that the Uighur Turks' language,
religion, customs, way of life and culture are completely different
from those of the Chinese.
of East Turkestan Independence
The First Period
The period up to 206 B.C.
The Second Period
Local Administration under the Turkish Hun Khanate, 206-108
The Third Period
Local Administration under the Turkish Hun Khanate 86-60
The Fourth Period
Local Administration Under the Turkish Hun Khanate, 10 B.C.-73
The Fifth Period
Complete Independence, 74-554 A.D.
The Sixth period
Local Administration Under the Gokturk Khanate, 555-639 A.D.
The Seventh period
Local Administration Under the Gokturk Khanate, 650-660 A.D.
The Eighth Period
Local Administration under the Turgis Turkish Khanate, 699-738
The Ninth Period
Complete Independence, 751-1216 A.D.
The Tenth Period
Local Administration Under the Mughal Empire, 1217-1351 A.D.
The Eleventh Period
Complete Independence, 1351-1678 A.D.
The Twelfth Period
Local Administration Under the Kalmuck state, 1679-1752 A.D.
The Thirteenth Period
Complete Independence, 1756-1759
Periods of Chinese Occupation of
The First Period
108-86 B.C., Limited to the South of the Country
The Second Period
60-10 B.C., Limited to the South of the Country
The Third Period
74-103 A.D., Limited to the South of the Country
The Fourth Period
640-649 A.D., All of the Country
The Fifth Period
660-699 A.D., All of the Country
The Sixth Period
738-751 A.D., All of the Country and Part of West Turkestan
The Seventh Period
1753-1756, All of the Country
The Eighth Period
1759-1861, All of the Country
The Ninth period
1879-1931, All of the Country
The Tenth Period
As can be seen from the table, East Turkestan has been under Chinese
occupation only a total of 570 years during its 2,200-year history.
(Isa Yusuf Alptekin, Unutulan Vatan Dogu Turkistan (East Turkestan,
the Forgotten Country), Seha Nesriyat, Istanbul, 1999, pp. 90-91)
WHY DOES CHINA REFUSE TO GIVE EAST TURKESTAN UP?
A basic knowledge of geography makes it easy to understand the Chinese
view on East Turkestan. Two important obstacles to communications exist
between China and the West: the first is the 5,000-kilometer Taklamakan
Desert, and the second is the Great Wall of China that stretches along
the entire length of the China border.
East Turkestan is the only Chinese territory beyond the desert and the
Great Wall, thus making it China's window to the West. The political effect
of its location (and its geographical and strategic advantages) make East
Turkestan indispensable to China. That is one reason why, instead of withdrawing
from East Turkestan, China is trying to impose their occupation on the
local population by means of force and violence. On the one hand, it takes
away the peoples' freedoms, including those of receiving news and communications,
by closing East Turkestan off and keeping the region as far from the world's
awareness as possible.
East Turkestan is known as the Kuwait
of the twenty-first century, because it possesses rich underground
mineral reserves. This fact makes the region indispensable for China.
These lands, which form the westernmost point of Chinese territory, were
used by the Chinese as a buffer zone against the Soviet threat during
the Cold War. These lands are thus of great interest to China for its
own security and that of the other countries in the region. Even if Russia
no longer poses a threat to China, China still maintains its land and
air forces in the region, and also keeps a large part of its nuclear arsenal
there. Another important reason for the continuing presence of China's
forces in East Turkestan is to maintain the necessary control over the
local Muslim population.
However, geo-strategic concerns are
not the only reason for China's interest in controlling East Turkestan.
As noted, the region also possesses considerable natural resources, and
the land is very productive. East Turkestan, known as the Kuwait of the
twenty-first century, is of particular interest for its oil, natural gas,
uranium, coal, gold and silver mines, and is one of China's most important
sources of these resources. Authorities on the subject say that by 2005
East Turkestan will be China's second most important center of oil and
natural gas production. The Tarim Basin in the middle of East Turkestan
in particular is thought to have considerable petrol reserves. That basin
is therefore known as the "Sea of Hope," and is estimated to have potential
oil reserves of more than 10.7 billion tons.10 Research
carried out by geologists has revealed a 300-million tons of oil and a
220-billion cubic-meters of natural gas capacity.11
The oil reserves in the Taklamakan Desert
within the borders of East Turkestan are some of the richest in
China's dependence on East Turkestan for energy is not restricted to
the oil beds in the Tarim Basin. East Turkestan will also be the natural
route for any pipeline from the Central Asian Turkish states, which will
in turn be of vital importance to Chinese industry. The best way for China
to insure its transportation system is effective and secure is to keep
East Turkestan under its control.
All of East Turkestan's underground resources
are exploited by China. The Muslim people are unable to enjoy their
share of the revenues from them.
The region's rich natural gas, coal, and copper deposits
also make it indispensable for the Chinese economy. Of the 148 different
minerals extracted in all of Red China, 118 come from East Turkestan (this
is 85 percent of China's mineral production). Among these, coal, with
its high quality and energy content, is especially important. The coal
reserves in East Turkestan are estimated at some 2 trillion tons, half
of China's total coal reserves. One study at the end of 2000 revealed
that China's richest copper mines were in East Turkestan. It is a known
fact that China's other regions possess little copper, and that which
exists is insufficient to meet the country's needs. The rich copper deposits
in East Turkestan make the region even more important in Chinese eyes.12
Alongside these mines, the fact that East Turkestan is one of China's
largest producers of cotton is another reason why China regards the area
as important. The Red Chinese administration is unwilling to hand over
the production of cotton, the raw material of the Chinese textile industry,
to the Muslim Uighurs, and constantly develops new strategies to maintain
control over the region. The aim behind these strategies, which we shall
be examining in detail in later chapters, is not to allow East Turkestan
to develop, but to make it dependent on Beijing.
East Turkestan's gold, oil and
other minerals are transferred to China, and the use of these natural
resources is totally under the control of the communist Chinese
RED CHINA'S FEAR OF ISLAM
In the preceding section we saw how East Turkestan is of great strategic
and economic importance for China. Yet the frequent arrests of devout
Muslims in East Turkestan, not allowing them to live in accordance with
their religion, and the pressure put on their religious leaders, make
it clear that there is more to their policy of oppression. First and foremost,
it means that Red China is greatly concerned by the presence of Islam
in East Turkestan.
Although the roots of the Chinese
attacks on Islam and Muslims go far back in history, these policies were
changed into a systematic policy of oppression, and even genocide, with
the establishment of the communist regime. When Mao founded the People's
Republic of China in 1949, all manifestations of Islam were made targets.
This hostility towards Islam began with the closure of mosques, religious
schools and other institutions providing religious education. The situation
worsened after portraits of Chairman Mao were hung in the now empty places
of worship (and Muslims were forced to show their respect for such images).
Some 29,000 mosques were closed during that period.13
The following stage consisted of the arrest of religious leaders on groundless
and baseless charges and accusations. Some of these were condemned to
death, and more than 54,000 religious figures were condemned to work in
the most terrible conditions in Chinese labor camps.14
Radikal, 24.4.01, As their sources of wealth such as oil, gold and
uranium are plundered by Beijing, the Uighurs are also imprisoned
in their own land. Unemployment and low levels of education are
rife. Eighty percent of the population live below the poverty line.
Tiny Uighur babies can at least look to the future with hope if
their families have fled abroad, to such places as Turkey.
Throughout that period, physical and mental torture
was inflicted on men of faith. Some Muslims were rounded up into public
squares and made to confess the so-called "divinity" of Chairman Mao.
The people were forced to carry out practices in flagrant violation of
Islamic ideas, such as cremation of the dead. The closed mosques were
used as military depots and barracks, or as places of entertainment (such
as theatres and cinemas). All forms of public worship, including Friday
and other prayers, were prohibited and heavy taxes were imposed on those
Muslims who continued to pray in the few remaining mosques. The communist
administration confiscated the alms given for the maintenance and restoration
of the mosques and all the property belonging to religious leaders. Studying
and teaching the Qur'an were completely banned. Religious works were seized
from peoples' homes. Writings in Arabic were burned, including a large
number of historical handwritten texts.15
With Mao's seizure of power, the oppression of
the people of East Turkestan has turned into a systematic campaign
of genocide. Mao forced the Muslim people to conform to communist
ideology. One of the first steps to achieving this is the way that
mosques and masjids all over East Turkestan were covered with portraits
Modern Chinese oppression of the Muslims in East Turkestan is felt most
heavily in the field of religion. As in all communist regimes, hostility
to religion is part of the official state policy of Red China. A document
called "The Basic Viewpoint and Policy on [the] Religious Question
During Our Country's Socialist Period," circulated internally
through party channels throughout China in 1982 by the Central Committee
of the Chinese Communist Party, openly states that fact:
In human history, religion will ultimately disappear...
All religious organizations in China will bow their heads to the leadership
of the party and the government … The true aim of religious schools
is to produce professional religious officials who support the party administration
and the socialist system … These religious officials must remain loyal
to the party's policy on religion … The fundamental purpose of
religious bodies is to play an important role in spreading the country's
One of the important indications
of the communist regime's hostility to religion is the way that
many mosques have been closed down and used for storage since the
earliest days of the regime. The picture to the side shows a ruined
mosque in Hotan.
A speech by Ali Jing Jiang, a member of the
People's Republic of China Islamic Community, at the 5th meeting of the
Islamic Society of North America in the USA on September 1, 1986, shows
just how fully the Red Chinese administration has put into effect the
decisions set out in that declaration. In his speech, Ali Jing Jiang stated
that in China it is legally forbidden to give any religious education,
either at home or at school, to minors under the age of 18. Although some
religious schools have been opened as the result of pressure from Islamic
countries, there are more Marxist, Leninist and Maoist ideas taught in
them than Islam. Jiang expressed that all the teachers in such schools
are communists and atheists and young people are being raised with no
knowledge of religion. In other schools, he said, religion is taught as
if it were something that needed to be forgotten, a primitive belief belonging
to the lowest levels of Chinese society. That situation has rapidly begun
to distance young people from religious belief. He also added that the
government keeps a tight rein on Muslims' activities and that the communists
are using Islam merely as a tool with which to improve relations with
WORSHIP IS FORBIDDEN
AIMED AT MOSQUES IN CHINA, Türkiye,
THEY HAD US FEED
PIGS IN THE MOSQUES!...
The Chinese cruelty in East Turkestan is never
ending. Chinese officials often halt the construction and repair
of mosques, ban Muslims from engaging in communal worship, and force
them to carry out practices in flagrant violation of Islamic ideas.
The anti-religious pronunciations of the Chinese Communist Party are
not new. The Qur'an reveals that the deniers who opposed the Prophet Noah,
peace be upon him, attempted to belittle the believers with the words,
"…We do not see you as anything but a human being
like ourselves. We do not see anyone following you but the lowest of us,
unthinkingly…" (Qur'an, 11:27). In another verse, God describes
how deniers believe themselves to be terribly clever:
When they are told, "Believe in the way that the people believe," they
say, "What! Are we to believe in the way that fools believe?" No indeed!
They are the fools, but they do not know it. (Qur'an, 2:13)
The Chinese Communist Party's attempts to portray religious devotion
as "a primitive belief belonging to the very lowest levels of Chinese
society," is an example of this foolishness.
While the Communist Party uses such propaganda methods, it also at the
same time steps up its oppression of Muslims. Following the initiatives
demanding independence in the 1990s, (the Baren uprising, the Gulja uprising)
the oppression of Muslims was stepped up even further. The way these uprisings
spread to the whole of East Turkestan, and the fact that Turks in public
posts also supported the demands for independence, greatly alarmed Red
China. It initiated another ruthless campaign against those Muslims who
had backed independence movements. Hundreds of thousands of people were
detained, thousands executed and tens of thousands were sent to labor
camps. Michael Winchester, one of the rare journalists able to enter the
region and send out a secret report about the oppression of Muslims, had
this to say in an article titled "Inside Story China: Beijing vs.
Since then they have closed down unregistered mosques;
forbidden the use of loud-speakers outside registered ones; banned Quranic
classes for children and youths; prohibited foreign money for religious
purposes; tightened exit requirements; imposed an age restriction on haj
pilgrims; outlawed unauthorized religious publications; and cracked down
on Communist party members visiting mosques.18
increases its oppression of the Muslims of East Turkestan. Young
Muslims, religious figures, intellectuals, and even children are
detained on meaningless pretexts and usually executed without their
families being informed.
One Turkestan resident interviewed by Winchester (who refused to give
his real name) said that since he worked in a state office he was never
able to go to the mosque, and that he would be sacked if he were to be
seen doing so. The reason was the increased Chinese hostility to Islam
which began at the end of the 1980s. A 1997 article in the official East
Turkestan newspaper, the Xinjiang Daily, set out what party members'
view of religion should be:
Those party members firmly believe in religion and
who refuse to change their ways after education should be given a certain
period to make corrections, be persuaded to withdraw from the party or
dismissed from the party according to the seriousness of their case. In
recent years, 98 religious party members have been dealt with.19
Despite all the difficulties and tortures
they are subjected to, the people of East Turkestan persevere by
living their religion and performing their religious obligations.
In East Turkestan, those who are caught praying or
studying the Qur'an are punished, particularly if they are aged under
18, because Chinese law explicitly prohibits minors from studying the
Qur'an. In 1999, for example, five 12-year-olds were arrested
for reading the Qur'an. When one of them fled from the police
station, his family were arrested and tortured by the police (and told
that they would not be released until he gave himself up).20
That incident is just one of the many frequently encountered in East Turkestan.
Thousands of people have been detained and tortured simply for living
in accordance with their religion, or for teaching other people who want
to do so. The accusations made against religious figures who have been
detained are particularly noteworthy. For instance, on October 28, 1999,
Memet Eli, the imam of the Oybagh Mosque in Hotan, was arrested and heavily
fined for teaching religion contrary to the Communist Party policy. This
is how his "crimes" were set out in the indictment:
During his duty as an Imam, Memet Ali did not
study, teach and implement Communist Party's regulations on religion.
He pretended he did not see the instructions of department of religious
supervision. When related departments organized study and educational
activities for religious personals, he did not attend… He allowed people
with unclear identity to stay at the Mosque…21
The Chinese Communist Party banned the teaching
of the Qur'an.
Other articles, as well as "failure to give instruction in communist
teachings" (under which six other imams in Hotan were arrested on similar
pretexts) are striking examples of the oppression faced by Muslims in
They said in their prayers: "God rescue your Muslim
believers from the oppression of atheists." They did not stop people when
they came to pray from other neighborhoods. They exceeded the 20 minutes
time limit for Friday prayer and teachings. They failed to inform the
authorities of people who came to get religious education."22
Hatred of ReIigion
Like other communist dictators, Mao
also claimed divinity for himself, and that twisted belief was
stressed in posters of him.
Like other communist dictators, Mao also denied the existence of
God and tried to prevent the people from believing in Him. He had
terrible tortures inflicted on many who believed in God, wanted
to live by his will or tried to defend his beliefs, and resorted
to all kinds of oppression in an effort to turn people away from
God. Another side to Mao is the way that he presented himself to
the Chinese people as a divine being.
This common feature of atheist
dictators was revealed in the Qur'an. The verses describe
as saying, "…Council, I do not know
of any other god for you apart from me…" (Qur'an, 28:38) The
painful end of the people who grew so arrogant and saw themselves
as gods has also been revealed in the Qur'an:
We brought the tribe of Israel across
the sea and Pharaoh and his troops pursued them out of tyranny and
enmity. Then, when he was on the point of drowning, he said, "I
believe that there is no god but Him in whom the tribe of Israel
believe. I am one of the Muslims." What, now! When previously you
rebelled and were one of the corrupters? Today we will preserve
your body so you can be a Sign for people who come after you. Surely
many people are heedless of Our Signs. (Qur'an, 10: 90-92)