A Uighur speaks about pork

After I posted this picture from Shannon Kirwin, three days ago, of a help-wanted notice at a restaurant in Kashgar that said "Han Chinese only," one response ran through the vast majority of messages from readers in China. It is the argument I quoted here. "Uighurs are Muslim," many correspondents said. "Chinese restaurants serve pork. It would be an insult to the Uighurs to suggest that they apply."

I had my own guesses about the response, but I asked another correspondent who (to the best of my knowledge) is a Muslim Uighur who reads Chinese. I asked: would Uighurs in Kashgar view the sign as a favor to them? Here is the reply I just received, with some addenda from the same correspondent after the jump.

"Han Chinese only" simply is a discrimination.  Uyghurs are desperate to have jobs and long have been complaining about "Han Chinese only" requirements.  Uyghurs don't eat pork, but "Handling pork" doesn't mean eating pork. That ad includes not only chef position but also waiter/waitress and supervisor positions, which don't require to taste the food.  In fact, I've seen many Uyghur students both in United States, Europe and Japan work as waiters/waitresses. They don't eat pork and bacon,  but happily perform the task. They have no problem with carrying the plates, and cleaning them. 
"The job ads I've sent to you earlier [quoted after the jump here, and very much worth re-checking] was posted on Kashgar Teacher's College web site. One of them is about "Dean of College" position, which also has "Han Chinese Only" requirement . The other ad is about several positions, including computer instructor and lab assistant position.   Most of them have "Han Chinese Only" requirements, which explain that an Uyghur can not apply for the jobs even if she/he has the similar educational background and skill set to her/his Chinese counterpart, simply beacuse she/he is Uyghur.     

"Postal service is a government institution in China. "Postal Hotel" [the one with the "Han only" sign] is Postal service owned company. The Kashgar Teacher's College is, an institution which has has more than of half of the student population is Uyghur, also a government owned institution.  If the job ads by government institutions are so discriminative, the situation in private chinese companies is anybody's guess."

To repeat the correspondent's important previous post: the two sites below, http://www.uyghuramerican.org/forum/showthread.php?t=13929
are ads for colleges in Xijiang, which specify "Han only" as a requirement for the job. The ads are in Chinese, but that part is clear.   The correspondent adds:

"I want to stress couple things to the "angry" Chinese people.
"1) On the first day of the demonstration,  Uyghur students brought Chinese flag. They've asked government to bring justice who killed Uyghurs in Guangdong [who were beaten to death after being accused of rape]. Nobody said they were against the Han people.   The demonstration was about complaining government's handling of the case, not expressing hatrid to Han people. It was not even splitting the nation. If Chinese government and media are fair, why they never mention it was a demonstration (at least at first), not a riot. I urge every "angry" Chinese think about it. 

"2) Even Chinese media reported that the demonstartion started much earlier than the riot. If the original plan of Uyghur students was to attack Han people, why they waited until the late evening until they got shot. If they have started the attack earlier,  couldn't they attack more Han people? ( Don't get me wrong, I condemn physical attack they did).However, I wonder why those Chinese people don't think something happened in between.  I believe the "hatred" is the product of Chinese government action.

"3) Again, here is some information about what happened. I urge every "angry" Chinese take a look and think by themselves.  Loving their country is shouldn't be blindly trusting their government.   Nationalism might be good thing, but it should come after being a good and thoughtful human.
http://www.uyghuramerican.org/forum/showthread.php?t=15886 "

There is more to come, from the "other side." Because of travel and, gasp, "work" I have let a lot of these back up.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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