Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China (Ohio RIS Global Series)

Blaine Kaltman


The Turkic Muslims from Central Asia known as the Uighur have long faced social and economic disadvantages in China due to their minority status. Under the Heel of the Dragon: Islam, Racism, Crime, and the Uighur in China offers a unique insight into current conflicts resulting from the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the Chinese government’s oppression of religious minorities that have heightened the degree of polarization between the Uighur and the dominant Chinese ethnic group, the Han.

Author Blaine Kaltman’s study is based on in-depth interviews that he conducted in Chinese without either the aid of an interpreter or the knowledge of the Chinese government. These riveting conversations expose the thoughts of a wide socioeconomic spectrum of Han and Uighur, revealing their mutual prejudices. The Uighurs believe that the Han discriminate against them in almost every aspect of their lives, and this perception of racism motivates the Uighurs’ own prejudice against the Han.

Kaltman reports that Uighur criminal activity (unlike that of other minorities, which predominantly occurs within their own communities) is directed against their perceived oppressors, the Han Chinese. Under the Heel of the Dragon offers a unique insight into a misunderstood world and a detailed explanation of the cultural perceptions that drive these misconceptions.

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