Source: The New York Times
Wire Service: Reuters
In a backstreet of the old Silk Road city of Kashgar, Chinese authorities have been spray-painting signs on dusty mud brick walls to warn against what it says is a new enemy -- the Islamic Liberation Party.
Better known as Hizb ut-Tahrir, the group says its goal is to establish a pan-national Muslim state, or Caliphate.
China says Hizb ut-Tahrir are terrorists operating in the far western region of Xinjiang, home to some 8 million Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighurs, many of whom chafe under Chinese rule.
But the group and some observers say it does not espouse violence and accuse China of playing up the threat as an excuse to further crack down in restive Xinjiang, especially ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
"Strike hard against the Islamic Liberation Party" and "The Islamic Liberation Party is a violent terrorist organization" read the signs in Kashgar, written in red in both Chinese and Uighur's Arabic-based script.