Eliot Engel, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, epitomizes the US government’s double standards towards the Uighurs and Kashmiris by making a fake news fuss about the former while totally ignoring the wanton human rights abuses being committed against the latter.
It’s nothing new that the US applies double standards towards practically every issue in the world, but it’s especially dangerous whenever it does so regarding Muslim minorities in non-Western states. Eliot Engel, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, perfectly epitomizes his government’s approach in this respect when it comes to the Uighurs and Kashmiris. He’s made a fake news fuss about the former, most prominently when he sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo back in February demanding that the Trump Administration hold China accountable for what he and other lawmakers described as the “egregious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese Government in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR)”, yet is totally silent about the wanton human rights abuses being committed the latter.
In fact, he recently went on record telling Congress that “India is now one of the US’ most important relationships”, which isn’t too surprising of a statement given that he helped found the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans nearly a quarter of a century ago, to say nothing of the objective observation pertaining to their fast-moving military-strategic alliance to “contain” China that overrides any lobbying interests he might have in making that claim. As such, the influential congressman could care less about the plight of the Kashmiris because the last thing that he wants is to upset bilateral relations with India in the event that he or any of the members of his committee dared to criticize New Delhi for its atrocious conduct in that ongoing low-intensity conflict.
The blatant double standards between Engel’s highly publicized activism on behalf of the Uighurs and his complete lack of interest when it comes to the Kashmiris reveal that his actions have a clear-cut political agenda, which is to discredit the Chinese government while covering up for the Indian one. It goes even further than that, however, since the Uighur issue is practically non-existent, at least in the sense that China isn’t corralling millions of them into so-called “concentration camps” like the Mainstream Media deceitfully alleges. There used to veritably be a terrorism problem in the region, but it’s been mostly neutralized due to the proactive people-centric approach of the People’s Republic in ensuring that at-risk members of this religious minority are deradicalized and then trained with useful job skills before being released back into society.
The situation with the Kashmiris is altogether different since they live under Indian military occupation in a UN-recognized disputed territory and have been deprived of their right to a plebiscite on their political future as mandated by the UN Security Council. Mass blindings have taken place as a result of the Indian military’s use of pellet guns, extrajudicial executions are common, and rape is employed as a weapon of war. Worse still, this terrible state of affairs has been going on for over seven decades, with the worst spree of state violence being committed in the previous three. Nevertheless, India is considered to be an integral component of the US’ so-called “Indo-Pacific” strategy, as well as a potential large-scale re-offshoring center for Western companies that might be economically pressured by America to leave China because of the so-called “trade war“.
That explains the strategic rationale behind these double standards, but it should be pointed out that they’re extremely dangerous to apply because political rhetoric (or lack thereof) has serious real-world consequences for each respective Muslim population. Concerning the Uighurs, the US is clearly conveying the idea that China is supposedly suppressing them, which in turn signals tacit support for terrorist activities against the state under the guise of being “democratic resistance against a dictatorship”, whereas the Kashmiris are accused of committing “terrorism” whenever they engage in desperate acts of legitimate armed resistance against Indian military occupation. In other words, the US wants to provoke a campaign of radical Uighur-driven terrorism against China while encouraging India to continue with its state terrorism against the Kashmiris.
Muslims across the world therefore shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that the US supports them in principle just because it’s engaging in an ever-intensifying infowar against China that it claims is in support of the Uighurs’ human rights when it’s actually just using this minority as pawns for geostrategic reasons pertaining to the “containment” of the People’s Republic. Likewise, the Kashmiris are also being exploited in the sense that their cause is being deliberately ignored by the American government in order to please India, Trump’s recent comment on the conflict notwithstanding. The US’ double standards towards these two Muslim minorities are therefore motivated by pure self-interest, not any so-called principles, the realization of which shatters the soft power that America is trying to regain across the “Ummah”.
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.