|Abstract: ||Much of the terrorism threatening the post-communist world is a byproduct of the role played in Afghanistan by the United States and its allies in replacing communism with the new ”foe,” Islam. The claim that Operation Cyclone of 1979 contributed to the dismantling of the Soviet Union is revisited by this author two decades on, as Islamist militancy spreads from Xinjiang and Chechnya to Algeria and the Philippines. For its part in this war, Beijing is learning-as it struggles to pacfy its predominantly Muslim Xinjiang-that ”As you sow, so will you reap!” Hence, this article sets out to argue that the ongoing violence in Xinjiang is a result of Beijing's inconsistent policies toward Islam and its support for the Mujahedin in Afghanistan, exploring in the process the factors that make the Uyghurs' demand for secession an acute problem for Being. Against a background characterized by a cycle of violence and human rights violations in which the Be(fing-commanded troops and the allegedly externally-aided Uyghur ”separatists” remain locked, the article examines Western attitudes toward Afghan|
the situation, in seeking to demonstrate that economic considerations prevail. The article finds evidence that the role of external players in aiding the Muslim Uyghurs’ongoing struggle is exacerbating this cycle. The discussion surveys the way in which China, as well as Central Asian neighbors, face threats of Islamist militancy. The article concludes that containing the Xinjiang Islamist threat is likely to backfire, much in the same way containment of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan produced the ongoing blowback of terrorism. This analysis raises a number of important and timely questions and addresses, from a neutral standpoint to the Xinjiang problem, the necessity of a better understanding of Islam and Muslims.