Vol. 13    Issue 5   01 - 15 August 2018
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Professor A. R. MOMIN

Worsening Plight of China’s Uighur Muslims

Ten of China’s 55 national minorities follow Islam. These include Hui, Uighur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Salar, Bao’an (Bonan), Dongxiang, Uzbek, Tajik and Tatar. The numerically large Muslim minority groups are Hui (10.5 million), Uighur (10 million), Kazakh (1.2 million) and Kirghiz (0.2 million).

Xinjiang, which was known as Chinese Turkestan in earlier times, is the westernmost Chinese city, bordered by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The region accounts for one-sixth of China’s landmass and has the country’s largest deposits of oil, natural gas and coal. Xinjiang, now officially known as Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, is home to several Muslim minority groups, including the Uighur, Kazakhs, Hui, Kyrgyz and Mongols. The Uighurs, who are the original inhabitants of the region, are the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang and account for about 45% of the region’s population. Ethnic Han Chinese account for 39% of Xinjiang’s population.   Read more


Erdogan Wins Turkey’s Historic Election

Professor A. R. MOMIN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s historic victory in the presidential election of June 24 marks a turning point in the history of modern Turkey. Erdogan won 52.59% of the vote while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) won 42.56% of parliamentary seats. The AK Party and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party, together won 344 out of 600 (53.66%) seats in the Turkish parliament. The AK Party’s proposal for a constitutional amendment for replacing the existing parliamentary system with an executive presidency, approved in a national referendum in 2017, has now become a reality. The prime minister’s post has been done away with. Under the new system now in place, Erdogan becomes the Turkish Republic’s first executive president with wide-ranging powers. Under the new system, the president will appoint his council of ministers and will have the power to remove vice-presidents, ministers, senior judges and high-level officials, even without parliamentary approval. He also has the power to dissolve parliament and issue executive decrees. As promised by Erdogan in the election campaign, the state of emergency, imposed on 20 July 2016 in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt in the same year, will be lifted by the end of July.   Read more

Fuat Sezgin

Fuat Sezgin, the world’s greatest living authority on the monumental contribution of Islamic civilization to the advancement of science and technology, passed away at the age of 95 on June 30 in Istanbul.

By Professor A. R. MOMIN

Fuat Sezgin, Professor Emeritus of the History of Natural Sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany until his death, was born in Bitlis in eastern Turkey on October 24, 1924. He graduated from the faculty of literature at Istanbul University in 1947. An encounter with Hellmut Ritter, a highly respected German Orientalist, at Istanbul University in 1943 proved to be a turning point in young Sezgin’s career and life.   Read more


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

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