Adoctrinamiento ideológico

La estupidez es un rasgo que caracteriza a la especie humana, pero en España lo de pegarse un tiro en el pie parece que ha devenido en moda obsesiva y afición desenfrenada. Erasmo de Rotterdam, en su Elogio a la estupidez (mal traducido por “locura”, pues el título original era: Enchomion moriae seu laus stultitiae) señalaba que la felicidad era hija de la ignorancia y que por eso las personas necias eran más felices. Pero a veces se olvida que se trata de una obra satírica. De hecho, Erasmo se preguntaba en la misma obra: “Quien se odia a sí mismo ¿puede amar a alguien?”.…  Seguir leyendo »

La editorial de libros de texto Santillana, estrella de un sector con mercado asegurado, les enseña a los niños que Vox, un partido fundado hace ocho años, es heredero del nazismo. Si estuviera dispuesto a darle un céntimo a la empresa fundada por Polanco en 1958, con cuyos libros ya estudiaba yo en los sesenta y primeros setenta (no los recuerdo muy antifranquistas), buscaría lo que cuenta a los infantes sobre el PSOE. Ahí no hay que especular con herencias porque son las mismas siglas.

Las siglas de los organizadores de la revolución armada del 34. «Me declaro culpable ante mi conciencia, ante el Partido Socialista y ante España entera, de mi participación en el movimiento revolucionario de Octubre.…  Seguir leyendo »

A magazine stand in Beijing, China. Credit Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China is facing serious challenges on multiple fronts: Great power competition with the United States. Trade disputes. The future of Taiwan. But that doesn’t mean it’s too preoccupied to escalate a battle of another sort on the home front.

The Chinese government, you see, has been fighting what state news outlets have called a “masculinity crisis” for the past few years, with one top official warning that “effeminate” men in popular culture were corrupting “a generation”. The Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece decreed that young men need to have “toughness and strength” and censors have blurred out male celebrities’ earrings in television and online appearances.…  Seguir leyendo »

Guards at a ‘vocational skills education centre’ for Uighur people in Huocheng County, Xinjiang, 2018. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

It came as no surprise to me that I have been included on the list of those sanctioned by the Chinese government for vocal criticisms of the human rights abuses towards Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province. China is not big on freedom of speech.

In the “tit-for-tat game that is part of foreign relations, this action is of little consequence. On a personal level, I will be sad not to visit China again, as I have great admiration for many Chinese academics and human rights advocates with whom I have had contact. However, I have no assets to freeze, no investments and no secret property, and my legal work seeking to protect human rights will go on as before.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘China’s regime has built about 400 internment camps in Xinjiang: they describe these prisons as “re-education camps”.’ Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

In the dying days of the Trump administration, outgoing secretary of state Mike Pompeo declared that China was committing genocide against the Uighur Muslims. Yet there is no reason to believe he was sincere in his solidarity or his repugnance at state-sanctioned violence. That’s because, given Pompeo’s record, he’s clearly no friend of Muslims and no champion of human rights.

In 2014, he said the chief threat to the US “is from people who deeply believe that Islam is the way and the light and the only answer”. A year earlier, he used collective blaming to tarnish all senior US Muslims for the acts of two terrorist bombers at the Boston marathon.…  Seguir leyendo »

My Uighur Roots

The first time I truly realized I was Uighur was just three years ago, when I saw the now-infamous viral photo of rows of Turkic men in dark blue uniforms, sitting in a concentration camp in Hotan, Xinjiang, a so-called Uighur autonomous region in China. Scanning the prisoners’ despondent faces, I was startled by their familiar features. Prominent cheekbones, round eyes, aquiline noses. My face was in theirs.

This photo forced me to come to terms with an unsettling truth. Although I have lived in the United States my entire life, China’s forced assimilation policies still reached me. I’ve always known that my maternal grandmother was half Uighur, but my family has only ever identified as Chinese.…  Seguir leyendo »

During my first year living in Ürümchi, the capital of Xinjiang, I met Aynür (not her real name). It was 2007, and she described life in China as difficult but improving for Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking predominantly Muslim people. Aynür spoke both Uighur and Mandarin, and was proud of being “in-between cultures”. She described herself as a bridge between the Han majority, who make up about 90% of China’s population and the Uighurs, Xinjiang’s ethnic majority.

Aynür invited me to her home and we watched China’s national day celebrations – parades of tanks, warheads, and motorcades – on TV . Aynür could not understand my lack of amusement; the spectacle made her proud of China’s rapid development and hopeful that Xinjiang’s problems could be resolved.…  Seguir leyendo »

China Disappeared My Professor

I last saw my old professor Abduqadir Jalalidin at his Urumqi apartment in late 2016. Over home-pulled laghman noodles and a couple of bottles of Chinese liquor, we talked and laughed about everything from Uighur literature to American politics. Several years earlier, when I had defended my master’s thesis on Uighur poetry, Jalalidin, himself a famous poet, had sat across from me and asked hard questions. Now we were just friends.

It was a memorable evening, one I’ve thought about many times since learning in early 2018 that Jalalidin had been sent, along with more than a million other Uighurs, to China’s internment camps.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Chinese government is forcing Tibetans to give up herding and farming to become wage laborers, cutting them off from ancient traditions and sacred landscapes. And that’s just the point. Credit Purbu Zhaxi/Xinhua, via Getty Images

Before Xinjiang, there was Tibet. Repressive policies tested there between 2012 and 2016 were then applied to the Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in northwestern China: entire cities covered in surveillance cameras, ubiquitous neighborhood police stations, residents made to report on another other.

Now that process also works the other way around. Xinjiang’s coercive labor program — which includes mandatory training for farmers and herders in centralized vocational facilities and their reassignment to state-assigned jobs, some far away — is being applied to Tibet. (Not the internment camps, though.)

Call this a feedback loop of forcible assimilation. It certainly is evidence of the scale of Beijing’s ruthless campaign to suppress cultural and ethnic differences — and not just in Tibet and Xinjiang.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘All the trainees … have returned to society,’ said Xinjiang’s governor last year. An education centre near Kashgar, Xinjiang. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Since 2017, Xinjiang in China has been reeling from a brutal crackdown outlawing both public and private displays of Uighur culture or identity, not to mention political dissent. A cornerstone of this repression, and the foundation upon which all other coercive measures are built, is an intense and unparalleled carceral regime: a network of hundreds of political indoctrination camps, detention centres and prisons. This has forced the region’s inhabitants not only into obedience but also into a chilling silence.

By most estimates, about 10% of Uighurs and other Muslim nationalities in Xinjiang have found themselves arbitrarily detained in these camps.

While researching human rights in Xinjiang at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a non-partisan thinktank based in Canberra, I’ve spent two years scouring satellite imagery and working with journalists, researchers and survivors to locate as many of these secretive camps as possible.…  Seguir leyendo »

Atiendan a lo siguiente: «Cuando el borde de una falda sube unos centímetros por encima de la rodilla, sea cual fuere el punto del globo en que esto ocurra, a menos de treinta metros hay siempre un siciliano, al menos uno, mirando». La frase procede de «A ciascuno il suo», una novela de Leonardo Sciascia. Uno de los encantos de Sciascia reside, como se ve aquí, en el uso sapientísimo del hipérbaton: el pensamiento permanece en estado de suspensión, intimando y no diciendo, hasta que la palabra final provoca el equivalente a una precipitación química. En esto, Sciascia recuerda a Benedetto Croce, el mejor estilista, según Gramsci, que puede alegar el idioma italiano en el siglo XX.…  Seguir leyendo »

One of China’s ‘re-education’ centres in Dabancheng, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

When China imposed trade sanctions on Norway in 2010 for honouring the imprisoned dissident Liu Xiaobo with the Nobel peace prize, it spat out a word we weren’t used to hearing from propagandists for an atheist communist regime, but should get used to today. “It’s a blasphemy,” a party mouthpiece said.

Once, blasphemy was damning the faithful’s gods and sacred books. Now, criticism of the world’s largest dictatorship has become sacrilegious. You shouldn’t be surprised. As some of us tried to say in the 1990s and 2000s, the gap between the sacred and the profane was never as wide as religious sentimentalists and liberal multiculturalists believed.…  Seguir leyendo »

El permiso de los padres se le ha llamado siempre permiso de los padres. Hasta la llegada del PIN parental. El cursi adjetivo y el catastrófico acrónimo (en adelante pin, menos humos), llevan sustancia. El pin es la cabeza de una gamba, y su exceso resulta tóxico. Pero aquí lo que importa es si hablamos o no de contenidos curriculares, otro término irritante. Hay un triunfo de la estupidez en la aceptación general de la voz pin. Favorables y detractores han caído en un símil ominoso con toda normalidad. Y eso pide lupa.

El pin bloquea contenidos en las plataformas digitales.…  Seguir leyendo »

El pin parental fue una de las propuestas de Vox en la campaña electoral del pasado abril. Durante la campaña no generó demasiado revuelo hasta que el pasado martes el partido de Abascal lo exigió como una de las condiciones para apoyar los presupuestos que PP y Ciudadanos tienen que sacar adelante en la Región de Murcia, y en las otras autonomías en las que gobiernan en coalición.

Por el momento parece que únicamente el PP ha salido en defensa de esa medida, y mientras que la coalición gobernante se ha erigido beligerantemente en contra (ha amenazado con recurrir cualquier medida en esa línea), Ciudadanos se ha mostrado (lamentablemente) titubeante.…  Seguir leyendo »

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil posted to his millions of social media fans about the persecution of Uighurs in China. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Arsenal star Mesut Özil tends to cause controversy on and off the pitch. That is why he should be applauded for speaking out about the plight of Uighurs in China and helping to raise awareness of one of the worst human rights atrocities of the modern era.

Özil posted to his millions of followers on social media on Friday about the persecution of Uighurs, condemning silence from Muslims on the issue. Özil is a Muslim who won the World Cup with the German national team before quitting international football amid claims of “racism and disrespect” over his Turkish heritage.

He is right to speak out.…  Seguir leyendo »

Estos días ha trascendido a los medios la denuncia de la Asamblea por una Escuela Bilingüe (AEB), danto cuenta de una encuesta "sobre aspectos lingüísticos y la integración cultural de migrantes", elaborada por la Universidad de Lérida, financiada por el Ministerio de Economía y ordenada por la Generalitat a través del Departamento de Educación. Se ha aplicado en diversos institutos a alumnos de 14 y 15 años (segundo ciclo de la ESO) de Barcelona, Gerona, Tarragona y en otros territorios.

En toda encuesta procede, aparte de otros rasgos técnicos, considerar sus contenidos, es decir, los objetivos que persigue y las condiciones de su aplicación a la muestra elegida.…  Seguir leyendo »

Esta tarde se presenta en Madrid el libro Nacionalismo catalán y adoctrinamiento escolar, un excelente trabajo del inspector de educación jubilado Jesús Rul, que se suma al alud de denuncias ya existente sobre la instrumentalización política del sistema educativo catalán. En la reciente presentación de este mismo libro en Barcelona, Rul defendió abiertamente la recuperación de las competencias en educación por parte del Estado.

Coincidiendo con esta primera presentación, EL MUNDO publicaba una entrevista en la que este inspector explicaba cómo en ocasiones sus informes, especialmente los que se referían a cuestiones lingüísticas, se guardaban en un cajón y cómo, para un funcionario que alza la voz, "la presión más ofensiva es el silencio, el aislamiento, sentir que estás marginado".…  Seguir leyendo »

Protesters demanding freedom for Prof. Dilmurat Ghpur and Prof. Tashpolat Tiyh in Munich, Germany, on February 2

Sometime after he disappeared in 2017, Tashpolat Tiyip, a Uyghur leader, Communist Party member and the president of Xinjiang University, was reportedly sentenced to death in a secret trial

Apart from a leaked government film that accused him of ethnic "separatism", the Chinese state has provided no explanation for the geography professor's detention. Like hundreds of other Uyghur intellectuals, the government has made him disappear.

Tiyip was given a two-year suspended death sentence in September 2017. And as that deadline nears, Amnesty International has issued a statement warning that his execution may be imminent. More than 1,000 scholars from around the world have signed a petition from the American Association of Geographers asking the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping to stay Tiyip's execution and release him.…  Seguir leyendo »

European Companies Get Rich in China’s ‘Open Air Prison’

Many people around the world may just now be learning that around a million Uighur Muslims and other minorities have been locked up in extrajudicial internment camps in the region of Xinjiang, in western China. There is a reason for that: Xinjiang is remote and the Chinese government has expended considerable effort to keep the news hidden, from harassing foreign journalists to seizing family members of activists to censoring information within its own borders.

Herbert Diess, however, should have no excuse.

Mr. Diess is the chief executive of Volkswagen, which opened a plant in Xinjiang in 2013 that employs almost 700 local workers and can make up to 50,000 cars a year.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the video Op-Ed below, three Chinese citizens whose parents disappeared demand their release from China’s “re-education camps.” The government is estimated to have detained over one million people. The goal: to force China’s Uighur ethnic minority to assimilate.

China’s decades-long campaign against the Uighur minority has surged in recent years through the construction of hundreds of detention camps. Even outside of detention centers, millions of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region live in a virtual prison. The surveillance state deploys sophisticated technology, including facial recognition tracking, compulsory apps that monitor mobile phones, and even DNA collection.

China has justified its actions as a fight against religious extremism within the predominantly Muslim ethnic minority.…  Seguir leyendo »