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Islamic religiosity, revolution, and state violence in southwest China : the 1975 Shadian massacre Wang, Xian 2013

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Islamic Religiosity, Revolution, and State Violence in Southwest China: The 1975 Shadian Massacre by Xian Wang A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Asia Pacific Policy Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) April 2013 © Xian Wang, 2013  Abstract The 1975 Shadian conflict was the largest religious rebellion of the Cultural Revolution, however, its political and social impacts have been neglected by both mainstream western scholars and the Chinese state-sponsored historical account. The event also has remained a controversial issue in China, in Yunnan, and of course in Shadian itself. The unresolved questions of the Shadian massacre and the inability of the Chinese government and local community to come to resolution are the focus of this thesis. By stressing the agency of the Shadian villagers and focusing on the interactions between the Shadian villagers and local authorities, it seeks to explain why the conflict between the Shadian Muslims and the government has persisted, even after the CCP redressed the massacre in 1979 and has changed its religious policies in order to cultivate Islamic revival in today’s Yunnan. Although the communist party-state has aimed to strengthen the socio-political stability of China by undertaking state-sponsored projects, such as rebuilding mosques, opening Islamic schools and so forth, to encourage public practice of Islam in Shadian; it maintains the Cultural Revolution-period mentality (radical secularism and atheism) and continues to deny Islamic religion as the very fundamental virtue that shapes the way the Shadian Muslims understand their religious—Muslim (rather than ethnic—the Hui) identities and the way in which they interact with the communist state. The conflicts and struggles between the Shadian Muslims and the CCP government in the Mao and the post-Mao period reflect the constant power dynamics between the local authorities’ denial of the religious centrality of Islam and the determination of Shadian villagers to define their ethnic identities based on Islam. While the CCP denies the religious motivation of the Shadian Muslim’s resistance by constantly regarding the villagers as reactionaries who always intended to make a disturbance, the Shadian villagers continues to emphasize their Muslim identities by regarding their resistance against the local authorities as 	
    ii  religiously glorious and just, meaningful in just the sense that Geertz suggested. As a result, down to today, the mutual understanding between the CCP authorities and the Muslim communities therefore has not been established.  	
    iii  Table of Contents Abstract……………………………………………………………………………. ii Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………..iv Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………...vi Dedication…………………………………………………………………………viii 1  Introduction………………………………………………………………….1 1.1 The 1975 Shadian Massacre: An Ongoing State-Community Conflict.......................................................................................................... 1 1.2 The “Hui” Ethnicity and the Historical Background of Shadian……….8  2  The Early Cultural Revolution in Shadian—The Development of the Conflict (1964-1971)………………………………………………………...11 2.1 Party Religious Policy Before 1964 and the Four Cleanups in Shadian (1957-1964)………………………………………………………13 2.2 The Factional Division—Paopai and Bapai (1966-1968)………………..16 2.3 The Establishment of the YRC and the Second Democratic Revolution (1968-1970)……………………………………………………23  3  The Exacerbation of the Conflict and the Massacre (1971-1975)……………………………………………………...33 3.1 The Shadian Muslims’ Repeated Petitions in the Early 1970s…………33 3.2 The Party Centre’s Decision to Crackdown on the Villagers’ Resistance..………………………………………………………………...40  4  The Aftermath of the Shadian Massacre (1975-2007)…………………....46 4.1 Crackdown and Arrests Following the Massacre (1975-1976)…………46  	
    iv  4.2 The CCP’s Redress of the Massacre during Reform (1976-1980)……...51 4.3 The CCP’s Promotion of an Islamic Revival (1981-2007)………………62 5  Conclusion…………………………………………………………………..68  Bibliography……………………………………………………………………….72  	
    v  Acknowledgements First, I would like to thank my supervisor Professor Timothy Cheek and external-supervisor Professor Jeremy Brown for their tremendous support and knowledgeable advice for the research and writing of my MA thesis. I learned how to strengthen and clarify my argument each time from Dr. Cheek’s detailed and constructive comments on my works. His intellectual wisdom always inspires me to engage critical thinking and questioning for my MA studies. Whenever I encounter difficulties during my research, Dr. Brown never stops encouraging and advising me to overcome the hardships. His rigorous scholarship and approach to researching modern China have influenced me deeply since the first day I took his class as an undergraduate student. I learned how to improve my writing each time from his detailed feedback on my works. I benefited so much from working with Dr. Cheek and Dr. Brown, and I am very fortunate to have them as my MA thesis supervisors. I also wish to thank Professor Tsering Shakya, who taught me to interpret the terms such as religion, ethnicity, and nationality with careful and critical manner. His knowledge and specialty on religion offered me so much inspiration for my MA thesis research and writing. I am thankful to Professor Paul Evans, who keeps reminding me to seek balance between studying and having fun when I became stressed during my studies. His warm encouragement and appreciation for me made me want to continuously pursue an academic career. This research is mainly funded by SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship. I am grateful to the SSHRC grant committee that offered me this generous financial support to help me complete my field research in China. During my stay in Yunnan, I received so much help from my former classmates and teachers, and the Shadian villagers who pleasantly provided me with advice and information for my project. I owe special thanks to their assistance. I am extremely fortunate to have a great family that offers unconditional support and everlasting inspiration to me. My mother taught me to stay strong and never give up whenever I 	
    vi  am facing discouragement and difficulties. She always urges me to discover my potentials in pursuing an academic career. My father is my first teacher who taught me to read books and to think critically. Since I was little, he has been discussing with me about the future of China and Chinese people who are confronted with suppression and injustice. His influence inspired me to choose and write about this topic. During my field research, he provided me with the most important and best assistance. Without him, my research would not have proceeded. Finally, I wish to express the depth of my gratitude to my husband Alain Aubin. I am forever grateful to his unconditional comfort, support, understanding, and love to me during my years of studies. Without him, I would not have come to this far.  Dedication  	
    vii  To the Victims of the 1975 Shadian Conflict  	
    viii  1. Introduction  1.1  The 1975 Shadian Massacre: An Ongoing State-Community Conflict  In the middle of the night on July 29, 1975, the central Chinese government deployed several People’s Liberation Army (PLA) units to raid Shadian and surrounding Muslim villages in southern Yunnan province. After a week of intensive attacks with heavy artillery and MIG jets, Shadian was completely razed, with 4,400 houses destroyed and 1,600 villagers killed. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), religion was one of the “four olds” that needed to be destroyed. The Muslims in Shadian were thus violently targeted and humiliated by the Han majority for their “backward” religious customs and practices. Conflicts between the two groups escalated in 1974 when the Jijie United Headquarters of People’s Militia (JUHPM) supported by the local government was formed to oversee the Muslim community after Shadian Muslims organized a protest of more than 800 people in Kunming, the provincial capital, requesting that the Chinese government respect freedom of religion. Accused of “making a disturbance” and “opposing the leadership of the Party,” Shadian Muslims resisted the government by forming their own Muslim Militia to obstruct the JUHPM and the PLA troops sent by the government from entering Shadian village. During this period, Muslim representatives from Shadian went to Beijing to negotiate with the central government. The negotiation lasted for almost half a year but ended with the central leaders’ insistence on deploying the PLA troops and official work teams to Shadian village to enforce control over the Muslim populace. The Shadian villagers continued to resist the official decision.1 This conflict between the Party and the Shadian 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   1 Shadian Huizu shiliao (Historical Materials on Shadian) (Kaiyuan: Kaiyuanshi yinshuachang, 1989), 46-57; Dru C. Gladney, Muslim Chinese: Ethnic Nationalism in the People’s Republic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991), 137-140; Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals, Mao’s Last Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press 2006), 387-388. 	
    1  Muslims continued to develop along with the external factional conflicts under the radical context of the Cultural Revolution, which eventually led to the Party Centre’s decision to use the state military forces to crackdown the villagers’ resistance. Although the Shadian conflict was the largest religious rebellion of the Cultural Revolution, its political and social impacts have been neglected by both mainstream western scholars and the Chinese state-sponsored historical account. Roderick MacFarquhar, Michael Schoenhals and Dru Gladney have provided a basic outline and some narrative details of the event, but have left major issues and questions concerning the aftermath of the massacre unaddressed.2 How did the state handle the complaints and resistance of Shadian throughout the Mao and postMao periods? Most importantly, how did the survivors respond to state policies? Were they satisfied with the settlement arranged by the state? Did they continue conducting underground resistance against the powerful government for the pursuit of religious freedom and justice? The local dynamics of the massacre remain unexplored. As one of the last great acts of violence of the Cultural Revolution, the Shadian massacre has remained a controversial issue in China, in Yunnan, and of course in Shadian itself. The unresolved questions of the Shadian massacre and the inability of the Chinese government and local community to come to resolution are the focus of this thesis. Current scholarship on violent killings in rural China and Tibet during the Cultural Revolution address some of these questions. These works include Collective Killings in Rural China during the Cultural Revolution by Su Yang (2011) and On the Cultural Revolution in Tibet by Melvyn C. Goldstein (2009). In his book, Su explains the causes of the rural killings by analyzing the conflicting relations among local villagers within a “community” rather than  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   2 MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, Mao’s Last Revolution, 387-388; Gladney, Muslim Chinese, 137140. 	
    2  attributing the violence to the state policy.3 Goldstein takes a similar analytical perspective by arguing that, rather than the Tibetan villagers’ resistance against the Han Chinese domination and their struggles for national independence and religious freedom, it was the rivalry between the opposing factions that eventually led to the violent killings in Nyemo county of Tibet during 1969.4 While Su and Goldstein acknowledge the significance of high-profile politics within the CCP leadership in cultivating the socio-political context within which the violent killings occurred, they both neglect the dynamics of the interactions between the local CCP authorities and the grassroots masses in shaping the development of the violent conflicts. As James Scott points out, in a country with a closed political system, only by studying the patterns of subordinate groups’ day-to-day resistance (the “hidden transcripts”) and comparing them with the state’s policies (the “public transcripts”), can we gain a better understanding of the socially and politically constructed relationships between the dominant and the subordinate.5 I therefore take a different approach that focuses on the interactions between the Shadian villagers and local authorities in order to gain a better understanding of the events that happened before, during and after the 1975 Shadian massacre. I stress the agency of the Shadian villagers by not only analyzing the policies that have been made and carried out by the CCP, but also the responses and reactions of the Shadian villagers toward the officials’ decisions in dealing with their petitions.  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   3 Yang Su, Collective Killings in Rural China during the Cultural Revolution (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 11-19. 4 Melvyn C. Goldstein, Ben Jiao, and Tanzen Lhundrup, On the Cultural Revolution in Tibet: The Nyemo Incident of 1969 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), 162. 5 James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990); James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985). 	
    3  The Shadian massacre has also been briefly mentioned in Chinese-language histories.6 However, it is not only entirely blamed on the factional followers of Lin Biao and the “Gang of Four” in Yunnan, but is also portrayed as a neutral “incident.” According to the official line that the state-sponsored publications articulate, following the collapse of the “Gang of Four” and the end of the Cultural Revolution, the post-Cultural Revolution leadership in Beijing completely redressed the massacre in 1979.7 Eyewitnesses and former Muslim Militia leaders Wang Zihua and Ma Shaomei have provided the most detailed accounts on the event in their memoirs. Siding with official claims, however, they conclude that Zhou Xing, the former leader of the Yunnan Revolutionary Committee who was later condemned as an “agent of Lin Biao and the Gang of Four,” was responsible for the conflict and that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had already implemented sound policies to compensate the victims of the massacre.8 In general, these statesponsored publications emphasize the CCP’s efforts to protect Shadian Muslims’ freedom of religious expression and practice in the post-Mao era by highlighting the official religious policies that aim to promote Islamic revival in many Muslim communities of Yunnan, where religious activities were significantly trampled on during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.9 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   6 Zhou Kang, “Hairen tingwen de Shadian can’an (The Astounding Event of the Shadian Incident),” Yanhuang Chunqiu 7 (2007), http://www.yhcqw.com/html/wsl/2008/421/0842181190DIFC1928IH177JA8D0C75JJ.html. Among state-sponsored publications about the Shadian massacre, the journal Yanhuang Chunqiu holds relatively independent opinion. Zhou, who identified himself as a former work team member, echoed Wang Zihua’s description on the events that happened in Shadian during the Cultural Revolution. 7 Dangdai Yunnan jianshi (A Short History of Contemporary Yunnan) (Beijing: Dangdai Zhongguo chubanshe 2004), 307; Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1995) (Summary Record of Major Events in Contemporary Yunnan [1949-1995]) (Beijing: Dangdai Zhongguo chubanshe, 1996), 481. 8 Shadian Huizu shiliao, 46-57; Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi (A Short History of Contemporary Yunnan Muslims) (Kunming: Yunnan Renmin chubanshe, 2009), 112-122. 9 Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1995), 504; Dangdai Yunnan Huizu Jianshi, 123-124; Yunnan Huizu wushinian (50 Years Development of the Yunnan Hui) (Kunming: Yunnan daxue chubanshe, 2003), 152-153. 	
    4  Nonetheless, this dominant narrative has been contested by people who experienced the massacre. Petition letters I collected during my field research in Shadian indicate that for more than two decades, Shadian villagers have been contesting the official representation of their resistance by continuously petitioning the government for financial compensation for their imprisonment following the crackdown as well as official recognition that they were justified in pursuing religious freedom. This thesis seeks to explain why the conflict between the Shadian Muslims and the government has persisted, even after the CCP redressed the massacre in 1979 and has changed its religious policies in order to cultivate Islamic revival in today’s Yunnan. In other words, why have the Shadian villagers been petitioning the government just like they did during the Mao period? It is true that, unlike the Mao period when religion was forbidden, the CCP has changed its attitude and decided to render a certain level of state support toward the five officially recognized religions (Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism) in the post-Mao era. In 1978, the Third Plenum of the 11th CCP central committee marked a significant turning point in terms of the central government’s general policy on religion. According to the 1982 official Document 19, “the CCP’s basic policy as one of respect for and protection of the freedom of religious belief, pending such future time when religion itself will disappear.” In addition, it also stresses that “coercion to prevent religious belief would be counterproductive.”10 On the surface, the CCP’s new religious policy has seemed to reflect its tolerance toward and support of religious communities.11 However, it did not help to successfully address the complaints and challenges of the Shadian villagers. Susan McCarthy, a political scientist who 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   10 Pitman B. Potter, “Belief in Control: Regulation of Religion in China,” The China Quarterly 174 (2003), 319-320. 11 See, for example, review of recent religious policy by Daniel L. Overmyer, “Religion in China Today: Introduction,” The China Quarterly 174 (2003), 307-316. 	
    5  conducts research on ethnic issues in Yunnan, argues that the CCP’s ultimate goal was to intervene and shape the direction of religious revival since the 1978 reform. In her discussions of the statesponsored Islamic revival in Yunnan, she asserts that the Yunnan Muslim case shows that “with regard to identity, tradition and practice, the state seeks to construct as well as constrain, promote as well as prohibit. It does so in great part to channel the Islamic revival in ways conductive to its own developmental agenda.”12 McCarthy’s argument that the CCP’s religious policy and its religious revival project ultimately serves the interests of the party rather than the interests of the religious groups has merit. However, this explanation does not provide an in-depth understanding about the Shadian villagers’ continuous protest against the government, especially because the CCP has implemented policies to provide material support to the practice of Islam in Yunnan in spite of its self-interested political agenda. In order to better explain the ongoing conflict between the party officials and the Shadian Muslims, we need to examine how Islamic religion has played a role in the interactions between the two parties. As Clifford Geertz explains, when religious people are facing “chaos” such as “the limits of analytic capacities, the limits of powers of endurance, and the limits of moral insight” in a society, the “powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations” that religion generates will guide its believers to confront, rather than to avoid, sufferings and oppression in real life in order to make the hardships of their lives bearable.13 Geertz’s insight on religion provides us with an important theoretical tool in understanding the interactions between the CCP’s religious policy toward the Shadian Muslim community and the responses of the Shadian villagers in the aftermath of the 1975 massacre. For the Shadian villagers, the metaphysical meaning of Islam is just as 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   12 Susan McCarthy, “If Allah Wills It: Integration, Isolation and Muslim Authenticity in Yunnan Province in China,” Religion, State and Society 33, no. 2 (2005), 121. 13 Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 90-106, quotation from 90, 100, 103-104. 	
    6  crucial as the ritual performance of the religion. This “metaphysical meaning” refers to value Shadian residents give to personal and community beliefs and identity, and not only rituals and practices. The Muslims’ belief in Islam, we shall see, significantly influenced how they understood and reacted to the CCP’s policies. Although the communist party-state has aimed to strengthen the socio-political stability of China by undertaking state-sponsored projects, such as rebuilding mosques, opening Islamic schools and so forth, to encourage public practice of Islam in Shadian; it maintains the Cultural Revolution-period mentality (radical secularism and atheism) and continues to deny Islamic religion as the very fundamental virtue that shapes the way the Shadian Muslims understand their religious—Muslim (rather than ethnic—the Hui) identities and the way in which they interact with the communist state. The conflicts and struggles between the Shadian Muslims and the CCP government in the Mao and the post-Mao period reflect the constant power dynamics between the local authorities’ denial of the religious centrality of Islam and the determination of Shadian villagers to define their ethnic identities based on Islam. While the CCP denies the religious motivation of the Shadian Muslim’s resistance by constantly regarding the villagers as reactionaries who always intended to make a disturbance, the Shadian villagers continues to emphasize their Muslim identities by regarding their resistance against the local authorities as religiously glorious and just, meaningful in just the sense that Geertz suggested. As a result, down to today, the mutual understanding between the CCP authorities and the Muslim communities therefore has not been established. It is a case of “same bed, different dreams.” I organize my discussions chronologically, basing them on three major historical periods— the early Cultural Revolution in Shadian (The development of the conflict: 1964-1971), the postLin Biao incident period (The exacerbation of the conflict and the massacre: 1971-1975), and the post-Mao reform period (The aftermath of the Shadian massacre: 1975-2007). Drawing my 	
    7  analysis on the three critical periods of China in which the Shadian Muslims experienced significant sociopolitical changes, this thesis aims to propose a new perspective in understanding the causes of the ongoing conflicts between the Shadian Muslims and the CCP government by highlighting the contingency of the CCP’ mindset in dealing with the petitions and resistance of the Shadian Muslims as well as the responses of the villagers in the Mao and the post-Mao period. Before I start the discussion, I will briefly introduce the historical background of Shadian.  1.2  The “Hui” Ethnicity and the Historical Background of Shadian  In China, Muslims are usually referred to as the Hui ethnicity.14 As Dru C. Gladney points out, there is a fundamental difference between a “Hui person” and a “Muslim”—the Hui purely belongs to an ethnic category that does not necessarily have religious implications.15 Although state-sponsored secularization of Islam, which seeks to “ethnizice” Muslims and “harmonize Islam with Chinese culture” through a social categorization process,16 has been going on since the Nationalist period;17 it was the 1950s minzu (ethnic) classification campaign the CCP carried out that secularized the religious nature of Islam significantly by defining Yunnan Muslims as the Hui ethnicity (回族).18 The concept of the Hui ethnicity, which the minzu classification campaign further shaped and established, significantly influenced the Communist authorities’ secularized understanding of the Islamic religion of the Shadian Muslims.  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   14 Dru C. Gladney, “Islam and Modernity in China: Secularization or Separatism?” in Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation, ed. Mayfair Mei-hui Yang, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008), 181. 15 Ibid,.180. 16 Kevin Caffrey, “Who ‘Who’ is, the Other Local Poetics of National Policy: Yunnan Minzu Shibie and Hui in the Process,” China Information 18, no.2 (2004), 244. 17 Gladney, Islam and Modernity, 196. 18 Yang Bin, “Central State, Local Governments, Ethnic Groups and the Minzu Identification in Yunnan (1950s-1980s),” Modern Asian Studies 43, no. 3 (2009), 744. 	
    8  In Yunnan province, the number of Hui inhabitants is approximately 600,000 out of a total population of 45.7 million, which accounts for the eighth largest non-Han ethnic group among other minorities.19 Historically, Yunnan Muslims are the decedents of merchants, traders, metallurgists, mule caravan drivers as well as peasants who were Islamic believers and migrated to settle in Yunnan around the end of the Tang dynasty (by 900 A.D).20 By the middle of the 19th century, the Muslim population in Yunnan reached 850,000. Based on their sub-religious affiliations and geographical locations, these Muslim migrants in Yunnan gradually formed communities such as the Diannan (southern Yunnan) Hui of Shadian, the Diandong (eastern Yunnan) Hui of Zhaotong, the Dianxi (western Yunnan) Hui of Dali, as well as the Zhongdian county Hui living around the border area between the Tibet Autonomous Region and northwestern Yunnan, where many Tibetans inhabit.21 Shadian village is located in southern Yunnan province, a region that is regarded as China’s southwestern frontier. For many centuries, the Diannan Hui of Shadian conducted border trade with countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and India, which created a solid network of trade routes—the “southern silk road” across southwest China and most parts of Southeast Asia. Shadian thus became the most significant center of Islamic learning in southwest China. The Islamic tradition of Shadian cultivated several outstanding contemporary Muslim Chinese scholars. The Muslim scholar Ma Jian (1906-1978), who established the first Arabic language-learning center at Beijing University in 1946, was the most influential figure among them. In December 1931, for the very first time, the Republican government dispatched Ma Jian as one of the five Chinese Muslim representatives to study overseas in Arab countries. Ma Jian traveled to Egypt to study Arabic and Islamic theology at Al-Azhar University, the most prominent school in Egypt 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   19 McCarthy, If Allah Wills It, 122. 20 Ibid., 122; Caffrey, Who ‘who’ is, 247. 21 Caffrey, Who ‘who’ is, 248. 	
    9  and one of the leading global centres for Islamic learning and Arabic literature. After eight years of study abroad, Ma Jian returned to China in 1939, turning down offers to teach at the school. Beginning in the early 1940s, he devoted his life to translating and editing the Quran to the modern Chinese language. In April 1981, the Social Sciences of China Press published the Chineselanguage Quran translated by Ma Jian. Since then, the Chinese Muslim community has regarded the edition as the most popular and influential Chinese translation of the Quran.22 The strong Islamic tradition and historical development of Islam in Shadian cultivated a solid religious base that would be impossible to forcibly eradicate, in spite of the CCP’s 1950s minzu classification campaign and the brutal suppression during the 1975 Shadian massacre.  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   22 Gladney, Muslim Chinese, 137; Wang Zihua, Shadian de zuotian jintian (The Past and Present of Shadian) (Kunming: Yunnan Minzu chubanshe, 1996), 252. 	
    10  2. The Early Cultural Revolution in Shadian—the Development of the Conflict (1964-1971)  “When the Chinese government redressed the 1975 Shadian incident, it attributed the tragedy to the Cultural Revolution. I disagree.” As I asked questions about the factional conflicts in Shadian during the Cultural Revolution, this Shadian villager, who is in his mid-60s and has experienced the dramatic sociopolitical changes from the Four Cleanups, the Cultural Revolution, and the crackdown on the Shadian conflicts in the late 1960s and 70s, pivoted away from the Cultural Revolution. The villager continued to explain that, “politically speaking, the Cultural Revolution had nothing to do with the Shadian incident. Rather, it was our government’s long-standing bias against us Muslims that led to the Shadian massacre. Blaming the Cultural Revolution is just an excuse.” He stressed that, “during the Shadian incident, seven Muslim villages were destroyed including Xiying village in Yuxi, Shadian in Mengzi county, Xinzhai village in Kaiyuan, Chebaini, Tianxin, Maolong, Songmaopo villages in Yanshan county, and Maoke village in Wenshan county. On what basis (凭什么) did the government conclude that the Cultural Revolution was the cause of the disaster? Our country is a one-party state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls everything from the centre to the localities. The Party treated us like this because it holds biased views against our ethnicity, especially our religion.”23 Another villager, a former member of the Muslim militia, added, “They say our religion is just like a rubber ball—if the Party did not hit it, it would stay still […] Since the Party portrayed us as a flower among other fifty-five ethnic flowers, it should have taken good care of this flower  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   23 Conversation with villager 1, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    11  so that it could come into bloom.” 24 The way the Shadian Muslims understand their bitter experiences during the 1975 massacre and its aftermath contrasts sharply with official accounts. So far, the state-sponsored publications, including several local chronicles and memoirs written by Ma Shaomei,25 the former leader of the Shadian Muslim militia, and Wang Zihua,26 an eye witness of the Shadian conflicts, conclude that the Shadian incident was a tragedy caused by the “gang of the four” and its followers in Yunnan.27 During my conversation with Wang Zihua, he specifically stressed that “without the Cultural Revolution, there would be no Shadian incident.”28 These competing explanations of the Shadian massacre, from the perspectives of the CCP and the two former Muslim militia members, raise many questions for scholars. Most importantly, was the Shadian massacre the product of the Cultural Revolution or the CCP’s long-standing religious policies? To some extent, the Cultural Revolution argument makes valid points in explaining the causes of the Shadian massacre, since the CCP officially attacked religion during the Four Cleanups and this anti-religion policy continued to become even more radical during the Cultural Revolution. The CCP’s severe suppression of Islam during this period thus triggered conflict between the Shadian Muslim community and the local authorities that carried out the policies of the Party Centre. But the Cultural Revolution argument alone cannot completely explain why the Shadian massacre was the only mass military action that the CCP top leaders in Beijing employed to wipe out a small Muslim village like Shadian. Nor can it render us an in-  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   24 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 25 Ma was arrested and put in jail as a “counterrevolutionary” on 31 August 1975, the fourth day of the massacre. The CCP appointed him to the Party secretary of the Shadian district when it redressed the rebellion in 1979. 26 Wang worked in a state-owned tin smelt unit in Gejiu in the 1970s. He later studied at Yunnan Nationalities University and became a vice party secretary of the college. Wang’s father was killed by PLA soldiers during the massacre. 27 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 112-122; Shadian Huizu shiliao, 46-57. 28 Conversation with Wang, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    12  depth understanding of how the conflicts between the Shadian Muslims and local authorities, beginning in the early 1960s, developed and eventually led to the 1975 massacre. First of all, the CCP authorities was not unitary—local authorities had to obey central directives, but they also had a great deal of latitude in interpreting instructions. It is certain that the Cultural Revolution had created a radical environment that significantly influenced how local authorities in Shadian understood and dealt with the complaints and protests of the Shadian Muslims. The radical socio-political environment that the Cultural Revolution sowed along with the local authorities’ harsh methods in dealing with the complaints and protests of the Shadian villagers, as a consequence, further exacerbated the conflicts between the Shadian Muslim community and the CCP authorities that already existed. The conflicts, which originated from the CCP’s problematic ethno-religious policy and were worsened by the Cultural Revolution, eventually led to the 1975 massacre. The following analysis begins with the 1964 Four Cleanups Campaign in Shadian, when the CCP enforced policies to forbid any form of religious practices. Before introducing the Four Cleanups Campaign in Shadian, I will also briefly discuss the CCP’s religious policy prior to 1964.  2.1  Party Religious Policy Before 1964 and the Four Cleanups in Shadian (1957-1964)  Although the central government’s religious policy emphasized the need to respect freedom of religion and ethnic customs through establishing several state-sponsored institutions to promote Islamic practices in the late 1950s and the early 1960s, in reality, this policy did not effectively guarantee the protection of Yunnan Muslims’ religious rights. In 1954, the Kunming municipal government established the Hui Cultural Promotion Committee and appointed Wang Lianfang, a Hui Communist cadre, as the chair. In 1958, the CCP quashed the committee and replaced it with a new state-sponsored organization called the Islamic 	
    13  Learning Academic Committee of Kunming. The Hui committee chair, Ma Huiting, went on a pilgrimage to Mecca with the Chinese Muslim Hajj Delegation in the next year.29 The CCP attempted to tighten control over the religious activities of Chinese Muslims by incorporating Imams and Muslim cadres into religious institutions that the Party established. On the local level, Yunnan Muslim communities faced gradually intensified suppression as land reform, the anti-rightist campaign, the Great Leap Forward and communization unfolded in the late 1950s and early 1960s. During these movements, the local government sentenced some Imams to death, accusing them of being “rightists.” In 1958, the United Front Department of the Party Central Committee issued Suggestions on how to carry out the reform of religious system among the Hui ethnicity at a conference in Qingdao. After Party Centre approved its proposal on the “necessity to abolish the ownership of means of production of all temples and mosques,” the Yunnan Communist authorities responded by confiscating the land of mosques and turning them into grain barns of production brigades among Yunnan Muslim communities.30 Beginning in the early 1960s, although the CCP adjusted its previous radical policies in dealing with religious issues by stressing the importance of uniting with Imams and reforming their thoughts, as well as respecting the traditions and customs of ethnic minorities, its goal remained utilitarian. The Party mainly regarded respecting freedom of religion as a means to consolidate its rule. For instance, On strengthening the ethnic work at the frontier region, issued by the Yunnan Provincial Communist Party Committee (YPCPC) in 1962, pointed out that: The methods on reforming the thoughts of Imams should strive for safety and reliability (力求稳妥), [as] religion is a social issue that reflects a mass character. It is not only closely related to ethnic issues, but is also a means that the domestic hostile forces have been using to compete with us for mass support. The key to solve religious problems is to enforce the policy of religious freedom—the masses have freedom to choose whether or 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   29 Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 108. 30 Ibid., 109. 	
    14  not to believe in a religion […] For people who use religion as excuses to conduct counterrevolutionary activities, we must strike at them.31 On the surface, the CCP’s religious policy seemed like shifting between the abolition and the protection of religious activities throughout the period before the Cultural Revolution. The statement presented in the document, however, suggests that the mentality behind the policy derived from the CCP’s unchanging insistence on prioritizing its political control over the rights of religious individuals. Consequently, the Party could easily regard any religious expressions as “counter-revolutionary activities,” so long as it assumed the actions of religious individuals would jeopardize the legitimacy of its rule. More importantly, this mentality fundamentally hindered the Communist authorities from understanding the demands and protests of the Shadian Muslims for religious expression during the Cultural Revolution, when the CCP’s religious policy was completely abolished and replaced with a radical emphasis on class struggle starting from the Four Cleanups Campaign in 1964. The Four Cleanups Campaign was the precursor of the Cultural Revolution. One of the goals of the movement was to eradicate “bad” thoughts and habits, which included religious practices. This radical anti-religion policy was the initial spark that intensified the conflicts between the local work teams that carried out the central policies and the villagers in Shadian. Shadian village was a production brigade that belonged to the Jijie commune (鸡街公社) in Mengzi (蒙自) County. During the Four Cleanups Campaign, Shadian became the pilot unit of Mengzi for the work teams to carry out the movement in the village. At the time, the work teams banned the Islamic practices of Muslim villagers by forcibly closing the only three mosques that existed in Shadian.32 As a Shadian villager who was at his mid-20s at the time recalled, “the work 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   31 Ibid., 109. 32 Ibid., 134-135. 	
    15  teams stayed in Shadian for two to three years before the Cultural Revolution. During the Four Cleanups, the work teams always led Bai Shiliang,33 the Muslim party secretary of the Shadian brigade, to close our mosques.”34 Another Shadian Muslim who witnessed the Four Cleanups Campaign recalled, “I was ten years old at the time. Because my father died young, I started carrying the burden of making a living for my family when I was very young. I remember that the work teams closed all of our mosques, forbidding us from worshiping Allah and conducting Ramadan. After searching around our Imams’ houses for Qurans, those party and youth league members (党团员) used shoulder poles to carry them to the outside. In front of us, they gathered all the Qurans and burned them at the riverbank and the mosques. They burned our Qurans!” The villager added, “This is what the Four Cleanups was like in my memories. Our religion has not been given freedom of practice since 1949. It has always been oppressed.”35 Even though the Muslim villager was not alive in 1949, his testimony reflects his understanding of the CCP’s religious policy toward the Muslim community. The man feels that Islam “had always been oppressed” even before the Cultural Revolution, which in fact corresponds with the actual implementation of the CCP’s religious policy by local authorities in Yunnan Muslim communities since the 1950s and 60s.  2.2  The Factional Division—Paopai and Bapai (1966-1968)  As the Cultural Revolution quickly spread across China in 1966, following the Four Cleanups, Muslims in Shadian formed into two rival groups that held opposite standpoints on whether the Shadian mosques should remain open or closed. Some Muslims even responded to Mao’s call and 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   33 Bai Shiliang was a Muslim cadre who the Shadian villagers accused as a “religious traitor.” He was one of the four Muslim cadres who were beaten to death by the Shadian villagers in 1979. 34 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 35 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    16  formed revolutionary groups such as the Maoist Thoughts Combat Team, the Red Flag Field Militia, the Rebellion Militia, the Ethnic Policy Defense Militia and so forth.36 These revolutionary groups eventually joined into the two major competing factions in Yunnan: the rebel faction— Bapai (八派) and its rival faction—Paopai (炮派). It should be noted that outside Shadian, the conflict and struggles between Bapai and Paopai had nothing to do with the issue of whether mosques in Yunnan should remain open or closed. Rather, the two factions focused on accusing each other of representing the lines of “capitalist roaders,” while claiming themselves as the revolutionary group that strongly upheld the correct Maoist thoughts.37 Around the Shadian Muslim community, Bapai believed that mosques belonged to the category of the “four olds” and opening mosques signified the disavowal of the achievement of the Four Cleanups Campaign. It thus insisted on the closure of all mosques. On the contrary, Paopai argued that Shadian villagers should reopen mosques, since the central government promoted the freedom of religion. The Shadian villagers were all Muslims, therefore the majority strongly supported the latter by demanding that the local authorities reopen mosques and allow Islamic practices.38 Consequently, Muslims in Shadian succeeded in opening mosques themselves with the support of Paopai under the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.39 A former Muslim Paopai leader remembered that after they opened the mosques in the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, the work teams and the Muslim party cadres such as Bai Shiliang and Ma Shufen came and closed them again. He said, “there was a person called Ma 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   36 Shadian Huizu shiliao, 46-47. 37 Kunming 8.23 wuchanjieji gemingpai 昆明八.二三无产阶级革命派 (The 8.23 Proletarian Revolutionary Faction of Kunming, Guanyu he paobingtuan tanpan de yanzheng shengming《关 于和炮兵团谈判的严正声明》(Solemn Declaration on Negotiating with the Paopai Faction) , June 13, 1967, author’s collection. 38 In Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, Wang Zihua stated that 98 percent of the Shadian villagers supported the action of opening mosques. 39 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 113. 	
    17  Shexian who confronted the party cadres by arguing that Party Centre promoted freedom of religious belief when they attempted to close our mosques.” Another villager responded, “Yes! She was my neighbor. We all called her by her nickname Lao Gunai (老姑奶). She married into our village from Huilong, a Muslim village in Jiangshui County.” The Muslim Paopai leader continued, “The party cadres asked Ma Shexian to show them the CCP’s policy for religious freedom on the state-issued documents or newspapers. Ma could not find any except for an old leaflet printed before the Cultural Revolution, which said the CCP respected religious practices. The cadres then accused her of spreading rumors and struggled her in public. Our factional conflicts started at this point.”40 As the Cultural Revolution continued, in response to Mao’s call that “To Rebel is Justified”, Muslim brothers Bao Minghui and Bao Minghai established the Red Flag Field Militia to support the local cadres in keeping the mosques closed. The Muslim Paopai leader and the villager commented, “Bao Minghui and Bao Minghai were too young to know anything. They wanted to gain political power and money by becoming communist cadres (想往上爬,想当官发 财). But they became traitors of Islam. Allah knows every bad thing they did …In order to fight back, we established the Red Flag Righteous Militia and re-opened the mosques as soon as the Red Flag Field Militia and the cadres closed them.”41 At the time, Du Zhengting, the Paopai faction supporter and the leader of the Yunnan Nationalities Rebellion Militia, came from Kunming to Shadian claiming that the Paopai faction supported the ethnic policy of the CCP and encouraged the villagers to open mosques. As the Muslim Paopai leader recalled, “most Shadian villagers either became Paopai members or supported the faction, because Paopai supported us in opening mosques. The divide between Paopai and Bapai became really sharp as the Cultural Revolution 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   40 Conversation with villager 3 and villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 41 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    18  continued. My former teacher Wang Hangfeng—a Han Chinese—from the Mengzi Normal High School and I became enemies and we constantly opposed each other, because Wang joined Bapai […] More and more Shadian villagers supported us once we reopened all the mosques.”42 It is apparent that the factional divide among the Shadian villagers was not based on a political split between conservatives and radicals. This phenomenon corresponds with Andrew Walder’s argument that the Cultural Revolution conflict should not be categorized into a simple model of pro-status quo backed up by the conservative CCP officials versus anti-status quo backed up by the radical rebels.43 More importantly, the factional divide among the Muslims in Shadian was especially focused on the issue of whether the mosques should remain open or closed. The majority of Shadian villagers cared the most about whether they could restore Islamic practices that the Four Cleanups had forbidden and whether they could continue to go to mosques. Because, after all, the villagers at the bottom would not have had the least interest in which faction was in power if they had not been confronted with overall religious oppression of the authorities. Therefore, they took advantage of the power struggle between the two factions to realize their goal in reopening mosques by supporting Paopai. For active Muslims who joined Paopai, they adopted Mao’s “To Rebel is Justified” framework and filled it with their own agenda by considering the Paopai faction as a convenient and powerful patron that could help to transform their underground grievances to open resistance against the local authorities’ religious oppression. As the Cultural Revolution continued, the factional conflict between Bapai and Paopai became more severe and erupted into armed fights. By 1967, Paopai and Bapai gained control over the two industrial cities on either side of Shadian—Gejiu and Kaiyuan. Shadian thus became a  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   42 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 43 Dong Guoqiang and Andrew G. Walder, “Nanjing’s Failed ‘January Revolution’ of 1967: The Inner Politics of a Provincial Power Struggle,” China Quarterly 203 (2010): 675-692, 677. 	
    19  major village where the two factions struggled for control.44 The Shadian Paopai leader mentioned that when the four cleanups work teams left Shadian in 1967, more and more villagers joined his faction. Because the majority of Shadian villagers supported Paopai and forcibly opened the mosques, Bao Minghui and Bao Minghai, the Shadian Bapai leaders, fled to Kaiyuan city where Bapai was in power. The Bao brothers even led the Bapai members from Kaiyuan to attack Shadian a few times. As a villager indicated, “at the time, the slogan of Bapai was ‘occupying Chong Poshao (占领冲破哨), stamping flat Shadian (踏平沙甸), and liberating Gejiu (解放个 旧).’” The villager continued to explain that Shadian was a strategic location for both factions. Whichever faction the villagers supported, it would gain a dominant position. For instance, if Bapai were to gain control over Gejiu, it had to first take over Jijie and Shadian. He recalled that, “one time, Bapai attempted to take Shadian by surprise. As they marched near to the Shadian pastry factory at Jinji Zhai (金鸡寨), they encountered the Gejiu Paopai that came to support us. Bapai therefore did not manage to take Shadian and we drove them out”.45 The armed factional fight not only caused severe damages to civilian buildings in the west side of Shadian, including the Jinji mosque, the roof of which was totally blown off, but also led to extreme violence against the members of the competing factions. As the Shadian Paopai leader recalled, “the religious traitors—the Bao brothers instigated people to sneak into the village and captured one of our fellows, Lin Guanghua. When we found Lin’s body in a house at Xiao Bajiao (小芭蕉), he was hanging up side down. His heart and the tendons of his four limbs were torn out.”46 Another villager added, “It is true. I was a teenager at the time and was always curious. I followed you guys to see what happened. They picked Lin’s heart out, fried it up and ate it. I saw a 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   44 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 113. 45 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 46 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    20  hole right on his chest and it was taped up with adhesive.”47 The Paopai leader continued, “we don’t really care about what was going on outside Shadian. We supported Paopai because it backed us up in opening mosques. Within Shadian, the most important issue was mosques—the root cause of the conflict—the authorities (官方) wanted to keep them closed while the villagers (老百姓) insisted on opening them up.”48 The Shadian villagers’ accusations toward the behaviors of the Bao brothers are religiously charged in that they called the brothers “religious traitors” who betrayed Islam by collaborating with party cadres to close mosques in order to obtain material benefits from the CCP. Unlike many people who joined in factional fights for reasons such as personal benefits, individual antagonism, political power, Maoist fanaticism and so forth, active Shadian villagers became Paopai members in order to use this opportunity granted by Mao to justify their open resistance against the local authorities’ religious suppression. To continue to practice Islam was essential for most villagers, who had clashed with the anti-religion policy of the CCP since the Four Cleanups Campaign in the early 1960s. The collision between the Shadian villagers and the local authorities originally stemmed from this factor and it was further entangled with and intensified by the external factional fight under the circumstances of the Cultural Revolution. The turning point of the factional fight around Shadian was the 1.30 incident in 1968. The incident was briefly mentioned in a state-sponsored local chronicle. On January 30, 1968, a PLA garrison quartered in Mengzi, received the official order to go to Kaiyuan. When the military vehicles, fully loaded with soldiers, reached Jijie, the Paopai members suddenly ambushed the troop. All vehicles were damaged and many PLA soldiers on the trucks were killed in the  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   47 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 48 Conversation with villager 3 and villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    21  incident.49 Shadian villagers who witnessed the incident, including the Paopai members, remembered more details about it. Some of them believed that the Party Centre in Beijing had always supported Paopai until this incident occurred. They thought that the Party determined the Paopai faction to be on the wrong side (站错队) in late 1968, when the Yunnan revolutionary committee was established, because Paopai members killed those PLA soldiers. As a villager recalled, “Paopai always supported the Party and it was on the right side. But one day, a Gejiu Paopai member called the Jijie Paopai informing that he saw five or six military vehicles, loaded with armed PLA soldiers, driving toward the direction of Jijie.” The villager added, “all residents in Jijie supported Paopai except for the Han Chinese who lived at Xiao Bajiao area.” He continued the story that the person who answered the phone hurried to tell the Paopai leader that PLA soldiers were coming to attack Jijie. Paopai members then rushed to put machine guns on both sides of the road—the distance from the military vehicles was about five to six meters. They fired at PLA soldiers and killed most of them when the army vehicles drove by, only to find out later that those PLA soldiers were just on their way to Kaiyuan. He concluded, “from then on, Party Centre viewed the nature of Paopai differently (炮派性质变了). People who supported Paopai all became bad elements.”50 A former Shadian Paopai leader provided a slightly different version of the incident. He recalled that: We received a notice to attend a meeting in Jijie in the morning, but we did not go. We did not want to participate in the factional fight outside Shadian. So we heard gunshots that night. We went to see what happened the next day and found out that PLA soldiers were all shot to death—the Gejiu Paopai members in Jijie, who were all factory workers, shot them—they mistakenly thought that PLA soldiers were Bapai members who were coming to attack them. It was actually false information. Also because it was in the dark, they set up the machine guns and opened fire as soon as the vehicles drove by. When people on the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   49 Dangdai Yunnan jianshi, 287. 50 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    22  trucks were all dead, they discovered that they actually shot PLA soldiers who were driven out of Gejiu city by the Bapai faction.51 Whether the Muslim Paopai members have participated in the 1.30 incident is unknown and requires future research, since the Shadian Paopai in fact had close connection with other Paopai members in Jijie and Gejiu. The most important aspect of the incident, however, is that the event further complicated and intensified the conflict not only between the Paopai and Bapai factions but also between the Shadian Muslims (who supported Paopai) and the PLA. The Shadian villagers originally took advantage of the factional fight to achieve their goals in re-opening mosques by supporting the Paopai faction. Their agendas were mainly based on Islamic religiosity. At the same time, by doing so, the Muslim villagers unavoidably engaged in the secularized conflict between the two rebel factions that were struggling for political control. There is no doubt that the incentives that drove the Shadian Muslims to support Paopai mostly stemmed from the villagers’ long-standing demands for Islamic practices that the local officials had suppressed. This conflict, under the Cultural Revolution context, was externally secularized and intensified through the Shadian villagers’ involvement in the factional fight. Following the 1.30 incident in which Paopai members shot many PLA soldiers to death, the Shadian Muslims’ involvement in the Paopai faction thus were simply regarded by many local authorities as secularized riots that aimed to overthrow the CCP. Because of the 1.30 incident, many Shadian villagers were purged as counterrevolutionaries during the Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign in the late 1968.  2.3  The Establishment of the YRC and the Second Democratic Revolution (1968-1970)  The 1968 Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign (捅马蜂窝) brought much unbearable suffering and persecution to the Shadian Muslim villagers. This would later become the main reason that the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   51 Conversation with villager 5, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    23  Shadian Muslims refused to allow PLA soldiers and work teams deployed by the Party Centre to enter the village right before the massacre in 1975. On August 15, 1968, the Yunnan Revolutionary Committee (YRC) was established. Tan Furen was the main director. Zhou Xing and other major Bapai leaders such as Liu Minghui and Huang Zhaoqi were appointed as vice directors.52 On August 29, Yunnan Daily reprinted an article titled “The Hornet’s Nest Must be Stabbed Open” that was first published in Red Flag. The article pointed out that a handful of bad people who controlled the leadership in a few work units in Shanghai censored the voice of Mao from the masses and prohibited workers from conducting class struggle by turning these work units into an “independent kingdom” that “water cannot be poured into and needles cannot be inserted in.” The article called on the revolutionaries to destroy these “independent kingdoms” by “stabbing open the hornet’s nest.”53 In the following months, as the regional revolutionary committees across Yunnan were established, Yunnan Daily responded to call to “stab open the hornet’s nest” in Shanghai by publishing several commentaries that attacked the “particularity of the frontier region” (边疆特殊 论) argument held by Yan Hongyan and Zhao Jianming, the former party secretaries of Yunnan before 1966. A Yunnan Daily headline commentary, which was published on November 30, pointed out that Yan and Zhao’s “particularity of the frontier region” argument stemmed from counterrevolutionary revisionism that regarded the “reactionary” ruling class in ethnic groups such as princes, landlords and Imams as legitimate, allowing them to continue to “ride roughshod over  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   52 “Yunnan sheng he Kunming shi geweihui zai jieji douzheng baofengyuzhong guangrongdansheng,” 云南省和昆明市革委会在阶级斗争暴风雨中光荣诞生 (The YRC and KRC were born out of the storm of the class struggle), Yunnan Daily, August 15, 1968, 3. 53 “Mafengwo jiushi yaotong,” 马蜂窝就是要捅 (The Hornet’s Next Must be Stabbed Up), Yunnan Daily, August 29, 1968, 1. 	
    24  the people.”54 Following the attack in Yunnan Daily, the YRC denounced Paopai, which supported the protection of ethnic culture and religion, as a revisionist faction that stood on the wrong side. From August to November in 1968, the YRC launched persecution campaigns against Paopai members across Yunnan. Because the majority of Shadian villagers supported Paopai, in order to escape from being purged, Paopai leaders from nearby cities such as Gejiu, Mengzi, Kaiyuan, and Jianshui fled to Shadian where the Paopai faction retained absolute control. By November 20, there were more than 500 Paopai refugees hidden in Shadian. In the meantime, a Paopai delegation of five representatives travelled to Beijing to petition against the YRC purge.55 As one of the representatives recalled, “I was the representative of Shadian and the rest were all Paopai leaders from Gejiu. We traveled to Guangnan by bus and walked to Nanning, where we took a train to Shijiazhuang. We attempted to find the 7748th army, because we heard it supported Paopai. But we were arrested when we arrived in Shijiazhuang and were taken back by Bapai members from Gejiu.”56 By late 1968, the establishment of the YRC marked the end of the status quo between Paopai and Bapai—the major rival factions since the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. What really frustrated the Shadian villagers, however, was the YRC’s complete denial of and persecution against their assumed right to practice Islam following the fall of the Paopai faction. On December 8, 1968, Tan Furen, the secretary of the YRC, dispatched a reinforced battalion of nearly 1,000 PLA soldiers and work team members to besiege Shadian to “stab open the hornet’s nest.” The troop arrested 571 Paopai members and Muslim villagers as soon as it entered Shadian. According to state-approved publications, more than 200 people were violently 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   54 “Dadao Yanhongyan, Dadao Zhaojianmin,” 打倒阎红彦,打倒赵健民 (Down with Yan Hongyan, Down with Zhao Jianmin), Yunnan Daily, November 30, 1968, 1. 55 Dangdai Yunnan jianshi, 306. 56 Conversation with villager 3 and villager 5, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    25  beaten and struggled against during the event. Among them, 160 were injured and 14 were beaten to death.57 For the Shadian villagers who experienced this event, the Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign was not only the beginning of their entire prolonged nightmare, but also a painful memory that has haunted them until the present. While the state-sponsored publications merely emphasized the physical violence the work teams conducted against Shadian Muslims, for the villagers, the tremendous mental destruction came from the authorities’ humiliation against their Islamic belief. A few villagers remembered that three or four trucks of PLA soldiers and work teams arrived in Shadian that morning. They started searching for weapons possessed by Paopai members as soon as they entered the village. As a village recalled, “the work teams were fully armed. I bet they would shoot at us even if they had only heard a firecracker […] they found lots of guns that Paopai members spread butter on, put into wooden boxes, and hid inside the empty tombs. Paopai members used those guns during the factional fight. PLA soldiers then confiscated them all.”58 By afternoon, work teams used wet hemp ropes to tie up Paopai members, including Shadian Muslims who openly insisted on opening mosques, and frog-marched them to the site where PLA soldiers had been shot to death during the 1.30 incident. As a couple of Shadian villagers recalled, “the work teams came from Tianjin. They were not locals judging by their accents. They asked our Muslim compatriots to imitate pigs crawling, roll over and scream on the floor. Whoever crawled slow or not straight, the work teams would beat them violently with meter-long sticks. One pregnant women named Ma Yueyun miscarried her baby on the spot.”59 Another villager added, “there was a public toilet beside the Jijie train station, the work teams asked us to rub our faces hard against the toilet wall, calling this the ‘pigs arched in the Great 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   57 Dangdai Yunnan jianshi, 307; Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 113. 58 Conversation with villager 4 and villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 59 Conversation with villager 3 and villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    26  Wall’. The work teams also hanged pig heads around our necks and asked us to lick the pig heads. Wang Yufei, my distant relative, refused to do so and he got beaten so badly […] The work teams said that pigs were our ancestors, which was a huge religious humiliation to us”.60 The work teams and PLA soldiers again forcibly closed all the mosques and turned them into military stations and entertainment palaces (文化宫), after they entered the village. As many Shadian villagers recalled, “those Han-Chinese cadres and soldiers not only cooked and ate pork in our mosques, but also directly dumped the leftover bones in our wells […]. We told them that we needed the mosques to worship Allah and they could not blaspheme Islam by crazily dancing around in our mosques. But they claimed that whoever continued to conduct worship and observe Ramadan would be regarded as counterrevolutionaries.”61 The villagers who directly participated in the Paopai faction were fiercely struggled against during the occupation. The former Paopai leader recalled that the work teams had him wear a peaked hat and put a heavy board around his neck, with such sentences written on it as “the king of the Shadian independent kingdom,” “the black general of the counterrevolutionaries,” and “the queen bee of the hornet,” frog-marching him and his fellows on the street around Shadian on January 30 of each year—the date when the 1.30 incident occurred. As he remembered, “the work teams held meetings to commemorate the 1.30 incident every year by beating us in front of everyone at the meeting. They then ordered us to kneel down on the roadside where PLA soldiers got killed and forced us to crawl like pigs while hitting us.” 62 While somebody could argue that the sufferings the Shadian villagers endured were no different from other Chinese during the Cultural Revolution, the methods the work teams 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   60 Conversation with villager 5, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. This was mentioned in Shadian Huizu shiliao, 48; Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 136-137. 61 Conversation with villager 2, 4 and 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
   62 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   	
    27  employed to struggle against the Muslims significantly alienated the Muslim community from the Han Chinese by targeting the Shadian villagers’ belief system. True, it was commonly seen—even in rural villages—that, in the mass class struggle meetings, the red guards publicly humiliated the so-called “counterrevolutionaries” by ordering the victims to kneel down while violently beating them.63 However, the Shadian villagers not only suffered from physical and mental abuse, but also endured the unbearable religious and ethnic humiliation when the work teams used pigs to attack their Islamic practices and belief. As a result, the Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign further caused fierce tensions between the Shadian villagers and the revolutionary work teams. Muslim villagers did not understand why worshiping Allah at mosques and conducting Ramadan, which are the core elements of Islamic cultivation inherited from their ancestors, were regarded as “counterrevolutionary behaviors” by local authorities. Similarly, as Daniel Leese has discussed in Mao Cult, the revolutionary work team members, who had received the Mao Zedong thought education since the early 1950s, regarded or at least appeared to regard Maoist thoughts as the absolute truth as well as the guidance of their behavior through applying “living” application of Mao Zedong thought in day-to-day lives, which Lin Biao initially launched in the early 1960s. Lin Biao called this sort of political education and its ideological influence on PLA soldiers and the CCP revolutionaries a “spiritual nuclear bomb” that could “surpass material things, surpass the power of matter […] and also transform into material strength.”64 It is therefore not surprising that the work team members and PLA soldiers who carried out the Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign in Shadian could not understand why the Muslim villagers insistently considered the words in the Quran as the truth and principle of their lives rather than the teachings of the Mao 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   63 Edward Friedman, Paul Pickowicz, and Mark Selden, Revolution, Resistance, and Reform in Village China (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 93-96. The authors detailed the class struggle meetings against the bad elements in the Wugong village. 64 Daniel Leese, Mao Cult: Rhetoric and Ritual in the Cultural Revolution (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 91-96. 	
    28  Zedong thought and Marxism-Leninism. The repeated conflicts between the Shadian Muslims and the Maoist revolutionaries thus revealed the underlying collision between the competing ideologies of Islam versus Maoism. This ideological clash intertwined with the factional fight under the circumstances of the Cultural Revolution, which in turn complicated and secularized the struggles of the Shadian Muslims in the eyes of the communist revolutionaries. The local authorities believed that the villagers’ participation and support toward Paopai demonstrated their rebellious attempts to overthrow the Party-state, but failed to realize that, under the pressure of being called “rightists” and “counterrevolutionaries,” supporting Paopai was the only effective method left for the villagers to voice their demand for Islamic practices. As the YRC further carried out its revolutionary reform in Shadian following the Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign, conflicts between Shadian villagers and the revolutionary government continued to develop. On March 21, 1969, the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the CCP issued a document titled On Enhancing the Political Frontier Defense in Kunming, aiming to call on the YRC to enforce policies to “strengthen the political construction of the frontier defense (政治边防).” The document stressed that the previous democratic revolution (meaning land reform) enforced by Yan Hongyan, the former party secretary of Yunnan province before the Cultural Revolution, was incomplete and unsuccessful. It accused Yan of favoring “rightist revisionism,” “polite frontier defense” and “peaceful transition frontier defense” for advocating the policy of recognizing the particular characteristics of Yunnan and adopting relatively mild methods in carrying out the land reform. In response to the call of the CMC, in March 1969, Tan Furen, the director of the YRC, held several meetings to map out policies to accomplish the task of the socialist transition that Yan, according to the CMC, was supposed to achieve by the end of the 1950s. Tan claimed that, in order to complete the democratic revolution in Yunnan, the YRC must carry out a “second land reform” to re-define class categories so as to 	
    29  clean up the remaining class enemies.65 As a state-sponsored publication pointed out, the method that Tan adopted to define class categories was mainly based on a person’s political background and, more importantly, factional affiliation rather than his or her economic status. Consequently, landlords and rich farmers who supported Tan’s faction were categorized as poor peasants, whereas poor and lower-middle peasants were regarded as the landlord class across Yunnan.66 As Michael Schoenhals concluded in his article, the Political Frontier Defense campaign in Yunnan “was tantamount to land reform, thought reform, the formation of People’s Communes, ‘Four Cleanups’, ‘anti-revisionism,’ etc. all rolled into one”. More important, Schoenhals pointed out that the CCP believed the ethnic population in Yunnan needed to ‘be struggled’ harder, because it regarded these people as culturally, politically and economically backward, compared with inland people.67 As he mentioned, this radical approach to ethnic community brought about many violent confrontations between the ethnic population and the work teams backed up by the southern provincial Military Sub-districts (MSD) of Wenshan, Mengzi and Simao, when the Political Frontier Defense campaign was first carried out in southern Yunnan—a region where many Muslim communities including Shadian inhabited.68 The Political Frontier Defense campaign thus intensified the accumulated conflicts between the local revolutionaries and the Muslim villagers. In comparison, the 1969 land reform in Shadian mainly targeted families of Imams, landlords, and former Nationalist officials rather than factional dissidents, since the majority of the Muslim villagers supported Paopai before the establishment of the YRC. Based on this principle, 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   65 Yunnan Minzugongzuo sishinian (40 years of ethnic work in Yunnan) (Kunming: Yunnan minzu chubanshe, 1994), 125-126. 66 Dangdai Yunnan jianshi, 303. 67 Michael Schoenhals, “Cultural Revolution on Border: Yunnan’s ‘Political Frontier Defense,” Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 19 (2004): 28. 68 Ibid., 14-15. 	
    30  the work teams singled out more than 140 families that were categorized as class enemies and confiscated all of their properties, after investigating each villager’s family background and history. The work teams also forcibly deported more than forty families to the nearby villages inhabited by the Miao and Yi ethnic groups, calling the deportation a “forced mixing reform (包夹改造).”69 A Muslim woman whose family was forcibly deported from Shadian after the work teams confiscated all of her family properties told me that the work teams labeled her father as the “black flag general (黑旗干将).” As she recalled, “my dad was a Nationalist military officer who protected our country by bravely fighting against the Japanese invaders. How could we, all of a sudden, become the enemies of Chinese people?” She continued, “the work teams drove my family away from the house we inherited from our ancestors and forcibly deported us to a Miao ethnic village called Shaweng (沙翁) where we lived with other ethnic groups including the Han Chinese who were also purged as class enemies.” The woman stressed that, “as Muslims, although we did not like the fact that we had to live with people who slaughter pigs and ate pork, we never had conflicts with the Miao and the Han. Instead, we cultivated a special bond through encouraging each other to tough out the hardships, because we all had similar experiences—the victims who were forced to leave their homelands during the class struggle, regardless of our different beliefs.”70 The Muslim woman’s testimonies reflected that, under the circumstances of the Cultural Revolution, a cross ethno-religious identity among the so called “class enemies,” which transcended the religious beliefs and customs of different ethnic groups, was cultivated and established through the commonly shared experiences of becoming the targets of class struggle. In 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   69 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 114. 70 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    31  general, however, the YRC’s “forced mixing reform” policy, which attempted to assimilate and reform the thoughts of the Muslims who were classified as class enemies by deporting them out of Shadian and surrounding them with other ethnic groups, undoubtedly served to deepen these Muslim families’ grievances against the work teams. For the “forced mixing reform” policy not only deprived the economic properties of the deported families, but also removed them from a religious community in which their daily Islamic practices were embedded.  	
    32  3. The Exacerbation of the Conflict and the Massacre (1971-1975)  The Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest work teams and PLA soldiers stayed in Shadian for almost one year and left the village in late 1969. In order to safeguard the victorious fruit of the YRC, the Mengzi county work teams were assigned to continue the class struggle meetings as well as to keep the mosques closed in Shadian. Although villagers believed that they should be allowed to go to the mosques, they refrained from openly challenging the local authorities after enduring the previous political struggle and campaigns.71 This situation was significantly shifted between late 1971 and 1973, when Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping were appointed to take charge of domestic and international affairs, following Lin Biao’s fall in 1971. During the period, the Party Center adjusted its pre-1971 radical policies by launching nation-wide criticism against “ultra leftism,” rehabilitating senior cadres, reestablishing civil institutions and so forth.72 These policy implementations, compared with the pre-1971 period, created a relatively relaxed sociopolitical environment for the Shadian villagers to once again openly voice their requests for Islamic practices.  3.1  The Shadian Muslims’ Repeated Petitions in the Early 1970s  In October 1973, the Shadian villagers selected Ma Bohua and Ma Shaomei, Communist Party members, as their representatives to petition Bai Shiliang, the party secretary of the Shadian production brigade, to allow the villagers to open mosques. However, the Mengzi county work teams intervened and rejected the villagers’ request. In response, the villagers forcibly opened the Jinji mosque of Shadian under the leadership of Ma Bohua and Ma Shaomei in the same month. In 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   71 Conversation with villager 1, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   72 Frederick C. Teiwes and Warren Sun, The End of the Maoist Era: Chinese Politics During the Twilight of the Cultural Revolution, 1972-1976 (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2007), 42-74. 	
    33  February 1974, they also successfully opened the grand mosque of Shadian. The revolutionary committees of Mengzi county and Honghe prefecture regarded the Muslim villagers’ actions as counterrevolutionaries’ attempts to “overthrow the proletarian dictatorship,” and to “restore capitalism and religion.” They again dispatched a work team of seventy members to enter Shadian to control the situation by forcibly closing the mosques that the villagers had opened and detaining the Muslim petition leaders, claiming that they came to Shadian to propagate the spirit of the Tenth Congress Politburo of the Party Center and that “they would not let the matter drop so long as the mosques were not closed.”73 The conflicts between the villagers and the local work teams were again exacerbated. As a Muslim villager who took the lead to open the mosques at the time recalled, “it was the end of July in 1973, when we graduated from middle schools and returned home to Shadian. Our young people spontaneously started to conduct worshipping at eachother’s houses and gathered together to learn Arabic…By early 1974, we opened all the mosques in Shadian and our villagers openly went to mosques.”74 However, this short-lived Islamic revival the Shadian Muslims brought about immediately encountered oppression from the local authorities. Under the larger context of the nation-wide “Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius” campaign, the work teams claimed, “Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius must be combined with criticizing the mosques.”75 Although the work teams could not completely close the mosques because the villagers strongly insisted on going into mosques, they often found ways to interrupt Islamic worshipping and celebrating activities of the Muslims by storming into mosques and playing loud propaganda radio outside the mosques. As a villager explained, “The work team members stormed into the mosque and stood before us in a row when we were worshiping Allah. We really loathed their behavior, because the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   73 Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 138. 74 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   75 Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1995), 424. 	
    34  Quran taught us not to kneel down before anyone except for Allah, the invisible God of the universe. So no one should be allowed to stand before us when we were worshiping.” He continued, “one time, a work team member started reading out loud what he called as the ‘Order of the Party Centre’ in front of us when we were worshiping. We threw him out right away, before he even had chance to finish the first sentence. This kind of conflict happened everyday.”76 Another villager also accused the Muslim cadres of assisting the work teams to close the mosques. The villager indicated, “I once questioned Lin Weiguo, the captain of the Shadian production brigade, why, as a Muslim, he was willing to lead the work teams to close the mosques? Lin told me that the work teams threatened him to test his loyalty toward the Party—If he could close the mosques; he would be regarded as a real CCP member. Otherwise, he was a disguised counterrevolutionary.” The villager stressed, “If I were him, I would rather become a fake CCP member than securing an official position by stepping on the ribs of his Muslim compatriots.”77 As the conflicts continued, Ma Bohua and Zhen Quanshu78 led a petition team and traveled to Kunming to plea that Party Centre deal with the local authorities’ suppression against Muslims. It is important to mention that there already existed divisions among the petition leadership. A former petition leader recalled that: I wrote petition letters together with Ma Bohua and Zhen Quanshu to request the officials to put policy on firm footing.79 We detailed the 1968 Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest campaign about how the work teams insulted us as pigs. Then we submitted all the materials to a Paopai leader in Kunming so that he could deliver them to Beijing. A few days later, the Paopai leader called me and told me that some materials we submitted were not proper. He returned the files to us and I discovered that Ma Bohua and Zhen Quanshu secretly included their personal and private materials in the petition letters.80  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   76 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 77 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 78 Zhen Quanshu was one of the Muslim Militia top leaders. He was executed following the 1975 crackdown. 79 During the Cultural Revolution it was a euphemism for fixing past mistakes made by the party. 80 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. 	
    35  The “personal and private materials” to which the former petition leader referred were actually a set of separate petition letters that Ma Bohua and Zhen Quanshu wrote to request that Party Centre redress the wrongful class struggle against their families. Before the CCP came to power, Ma’s father was a petty Nationalist official (卫保长), which was one of the nine kinds of class enemies defined by the YRC. Zhen’s family was also categorized as a class enemy because of its rich farmer status. Therefore, both Ma and Zhen’s families were violently struggled against during the Four Cleanups and the revolutionary campaigns the YRC carried out in the 1960s. The Muslim petition leaders thus fiercely debated about whether Ma and Zhen should include their “personal grievances” in the mass petition for freedom of religious expression.81 As a former petition leader who was against Ma and Zhen mentioned, “when we discovered the personal dossiers of Ma and Zhen, we criticized them that they were wrong to mix up private businesses with the ones of the masses (公私不分). Ma and Zhen argued that they wanted to take the opportunity to urge the officials to reverse the official verdicts against the so-called class enemies including their families and that they also wanted to gain more support from the villagers in the name of mosques.” The petition leader added, “we strongly disagreed with their ideas by arguing that if they were to use mosques to voice out their personal grievances that had nothing to do with Islam, they would jeopardize our mosques and religion by creating loopholes for the work teams to exploit.”82 The petition team later split into two groups, with Ma and Zhen continuing to Kunming and Beijing to petition the government whereas the other group stayed in Shadian and slowly withdrew from the action. As the former petition leader indicated, “We were Paopai activists in Shadian during the factional conflict in the earlier stage of the Cultural Revolution. We 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   81 Conversation with villager 5, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   82 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    36  were purged and beaten so badly during each political campaign since 1968. Ma and Zhen are younger and we had lots of disagreement. We walked away because they did not want us to participate in any following petitions after we challenged them.”83 The disputes among the Shadian petition leadership help to understand the underlying motivations that drove the villagers to conduct petitions against the local authorities. While it is undeniable that the demands for freedom of Islamic practice served as the core incentives of the Shadian Muslims in resisting the suppressive policies of the local government, the violent class struggles, which deprived the villagers of their human dignities as well as material properties, also contributed to the motivation of the Shadian Muslim’s protests. Ma and Zhen attempted to use the collective demands for freedom of Islamic expression as an opportunity to voice their family grievances. As I will show later in the article, it is important to stress that this action did not negate their goals to revive Islamic practices in Shadian, rather, it reflected that the conflicts between the Shadian villagers and the work teams were religious, yet also intertwined with and intensified by the material-based class struggles carried out by the revolutionaries (confiscation of land ownership, physical humiliation, and deportation), which the larger Cultural Revolution political climate cultivated. In the meantime, Islam played the most significant role in shaping the Shadian villagers understanding of their protest against the local authorities. The petition members who were against Ma and Zhen insisted on separating the collective affairs—the protection of Islam and mosques—from Ma and Zhen’s private matters—the persecution of their family members during class struggles. This suggests that the religiously charged mindset significantly shaped their judgment on what petitioning goal should be justly prioritized.  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   83 Conversation with villager 3 and villager 5, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    37  By May 1974, the Shadian Muslims’ repeated petitions caught the attention of Party Centre in Beijing. The leadership in Beijing appointed Zhou Xing, the party secretary of Yunnan Provincial Government, to investigate the conflicts occurred among the Muslim communities in southern Yunnan including Shadian. In August, Zhou Xing travelled to Shadian to meet with the Muslim petition leaders who requested the party officials to put the CCP’s religious policy on firm footing, rectify the persecution toward Muslims who were labeled as counterrevolutionaries, and investigate the accounts of the Shadian production brigade.84 As a former petition leader mentioned, “we accused the captain of our brigade of embezzling the work points of the members at the time—we eared 10 work points for our daily labour, but we only got 3.98 points when we shared out a year-end bonus. We suspected the results and demanded the local officials to investigate the accounts.” The villager also explained that, as production brigade members, the Shadian Muslims disagreed with the local authorities’ policies to determine one’s work points based on his or her political consciousness. That is, if the villagers continued to practice Islam, they were to be given very low work points that could cause great difficulties for them to make a living.85 However, the Muslim villagers did not get what they requested. On one hand, Zhou Xing orally promised the villagers that he would solve the problems, on the other, he held a meeting with party leaders from Mengzi County and Hongge prefecture, telling the local authorities that a small handful of bad people, who attempted to reverse the correct verdicts of the Cultural Revolution, were responsible for the conflicts happened in Shadian.86 As a result, Zhou Xing agreed to investigate the accounts of the Shadian production brigade, but refused to allow the villagers to open mosques and to rectify the persecution toward counterrevolutionary Muslims. 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   84 Dangdai Yunnan jianshi, 115. 85 Conversation with villager 3, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   86 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 116. 	
    38  The Shadian petition team, therefore, linked up with Muslims from other counties such as Wenshan and Yuxi and travelled to Kunming to protest against the suppression by the local government. The petition members reached to more than 1000 villagers by the time the team arrived in Kunming.87 As a petition member recalled, “we planned to take the train from Jijie to Kunming, but the militia (民兵) blocked us at the Kaiyuan train station. Ma Bohua decided to lead us to Kunming on foot. We stopped at Muslim villages and the villagers happily provided us with food and accommodations.” The villager described that when they arrived in Kunming, the Yunnan provincial committee ignored them and refused to deal with the requests of the Shadian villagers such as allowing the Muslims to open the mosques, revoking the local policies of forcing the villagers to raise pigs and so forth. They thus decided to board the train from Kunming to Beijing. As he said, “we planned to arouse the attention of the public and the government by staging a sit-in at the Kunming Nanyao Train station. Ma Bohua gave a public speech explaining why we were petitioning the government. But the city people did not believe us. Some people even spit on Ma Bohua’s face and called us ‘counterrevolutionaries’.” In the end, according to the villager, the party officials persuaded them to withdraw from the train station and provided buses to send them back home by promising them that they would definitely agree to implement policies to satisfy the Muslim petitioners’ demands. The villager added, “but they never delivered what they promised! Nothing changed after we got back. Instead, the local authorities sent the militia to threaten us.”88 Apparently, the party officials from the county to provincial levels did not actively seek to deal with the complaints of the Shadian Muslims. Instead, the authorities’ mindset, which was fundamentally shaped by the class struggle concept of the Cultural Revolution, pre-determined 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   87 Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1995), 424. 88 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    39  that the Muslim petitioners were just a group of touble makers who attempted to sabotage the leadership of the party. Consequently, the Muslim villagers lacked a legal channel that could otherwise provide them with opportunities to voice their complaints and grievances to the government. In order to achieve their goals, they felt that they were left with no choice but to conduct open resistance, which they considered the only effective way to deal with the government.  3.2  The Party Centre’s Decision to Crackdown on the Villagers’ Resistance  In November 1974, local officials from Honghe prefecture, Gejiu city, and Mengzi County established the Jijie United Headquarters of People’s Militia (JUHPM) in Jijie and distributed weapons to its members. Then the armed JUHPM members paraded around Shadian everyday and wrote big character posters that accused the Shadian Muslims of being “a handful group of counterrevolutionaries who opposed the party, socialism and Maoist thoughts in the name of religion.”89 As a former Muslim militia member recalled, “the JUHPM members carried guns and paraded around our village every day. We felt so threatened that we also established the Shadian Muslim Militia (沙甸回民民兵团). It was messily organized because we were a bunch of young and daring farmers who just wanted to scare the militia away.”90 In order to resist the armed JUHPM members, the Muslim Militia members attempted to snatch guns from the JUHPM and from the People’s Armed Forces Department of Mengzi, which caused violent conflicts that killed militia members from both sides within half a month in December 1974.91 These conflicts caught the attention of the leadership in Beijing. On December 31, Party Centre issued a notice titled On Forbidding the Seisure of Military Weapons. The notice pointed 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   89 Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 140. 90 Conversation with villager 1, villager 2 and villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   91 Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 140. 	
    40  out that “the violent conflicts emerged in such Muslim communities as Shadian, Yuxi, and Wenshan were wrong and must be stopped” and it requested the Shadian Muslim petition leaders—Ma Bohua, Zhen Quanshu and Ma Shaomei, along with the local authorities of Mengzi County and Honghe prefecture as well as the party secretaries of YRC, to go to Beijing to attend a emergency meeting.92 In the meantime, the notice also appointed the Yunnan Provincial Committee to carry out the confiscation of guns between the JUHPM and the Shadian Muslim Militia. However, it turned out that the local authorities merely confiscated the weapons from the Muslims but not the ones possessed by the JUHPM.93 The Shadian villagers, instead, continued to snatch guns from the local authorities and created homemade weapons with steel tubes filled with firepower, glass and other materials, in order to resist the armed JUHPM members. As several villagers recalled that: Our chemistry knowledge was all right at the time. We mixed yellow and black firepower together with metal and glass pieces, and stuffed them into a short tube. We carried these home-made bombs to Bajiaodi (芭蕉地)—close to where the JUHPM stationed—and pretended to ‘test’ the ‘new advanced weapons’ before its members. Actually, we did not have any ‘new advanced weapons’, we just wanted to scare the JUHPM by topping so much rice-straw and stove ash on the home-made bombs to make it look like our weapons were powerful. The ash was blown off so high and it really made our homemade bombs looked like ‘advanced weapons’. But some villagers got injured when we did this—Ma Lishu’s left arm got blown off. 94 Consequently, the conflicts between the JUHPM and the villagers continued to develop. In order to carry out the order of Party Centre, the Yunnan Provincial Committee dispatched work teams and PLA soldiers to enter Shadian. But the Shadian villagers refused to let the work teams and PLA soldiers into Shadian. As a Muslim villager explained, “we clearly remembered what it was like when PLA soldiers and work teams occupied Shadian in 1968 during the Stab Open the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   92 Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1995), 425-427. 93 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 117. 94 Conversation with villager 2 and villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    41  Hornet’s Nest campaign. We did not want to become subjects to brutal persecutions again. So our villagers, old and young, all went to block the work teams from coming into Shadian as soon as we heard the bell ring at the grand mosque.”95 Another villager also remembered, “we set up sentinels around the village and we all took turns to watch the work teams and the PLA quartered at the sugarcane factory in Jijie, where they installed a huge two-meter wide loudspeaker facing Shadian. The loudspeaker played revolutionary and military songs day and night, it also kept screaming and urging us to ‘draw a clear line’ (划清界限) between us and our Muslim representatives—Ma Bohua , Zhen Quanshu and Ma Shaomei, accusing them of being counterrevolutionaries.96 After the work teams and PLA encountered the villagers’ resistance, on May 23, 1975, the YRC and Yunnan Party Committee issued a public notice that said: Recently, a handful group of people in Shadian incited some villagers (the Muslim militia members) to snatch and make weapons, thus causing violent conflicts and murder cases. This small handful of people became even more aggravated in resisting the order of Party Centre and carrying out misdeeds. According to the order of Party Centre and the CCP Military Committee, we must dispatch work teams and the PLA to enter and garrison Shadian and nobody is allowed to resist the order. The leaders of the Muslim militia have done so many misdeeds. The only way out is to atone for their crimes by handing over the bad enemies who masterminded the whole conflicts and surrender their weapons.97 In the end, the YRC employed helicopters to airdrop copies of the notice into Shadian. Many villagers remembered the event. As a Mulism woman recalled, “the notices landed all over the place in our village. But we did not want to give even one glance, because it was full of nonsense. As soon as I saw one, I could not wait to rip it off and throw it into the latrine pits.”98 Another former militia member also recalled, “the notice accused us of attempting to establish a Islamic republic, digging tunnels toward Vietnam in order to build connection with the Nationalist 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   95 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   96 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   97 Cited in Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 118 98 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   	
    42  spies…We never did such things, but only demanded the government open the mosques. In a fit of anger, after we gathered all the notices and put them into several sacks, we carried them to the Jijie sugarcane factory (where the PLA quartered) and burned all the notices right in front of them.”99 While the Shadian villagers kept work teams outside the village, in Beijing, the Shadian Muslim delegation also encountered obstacles in negotiating with the CCP top leadership. At the time, the debates between the Muslim delegation and the CCP top leadership mainly focused on whether the PLA and work teams should enter Shadian. The Muslim delegation argued that there was no need to dispatch several regiments of the PLA, along with the work teams, to enter a small village like Shadian to put the CCP’s ethno-religious policy on firm footing. However, the CCP top leadership insisted on its original plan in sending a large PLA troop to Shadian. On July 5, 1975, Party Centre issued another instruction—On Solving the Shadian Problems approved by Mao Zedong, emphasizing again that “it was Party Centre’s decision to dispatch PLA soldiers to Shadian, thus a few chaos making leaders, who were manipulated by a small handful of class enemies, were extremely wrong to betray the will of the masses by inciting some villagers to beat the work team members and to obstruct the PLA troops.” The document also requested the Muslim delegation to return to Shadian and persuade the villagers to allow the work teams and the PLA to march into the village. By July 13, the Shadian Muslims continued to resist by refusing to let the PLA troops go into the village, which led the CCP top leadership to believe that “the nature of the Shadian conflict already changed” and “it is impossible to solve the problem by political negotiation.” On July 29, 1975, having defined the Shadian conflict as a “counterrevolutionary rebellion”, Party Centre and the CCP Military committee decided to start a military attack with heavy artilleries against Shadian in the middle of the night. The whole military 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   99 Conversation with villager 1, villager 2 and villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    43  attack lasted until August 18. Within 21 days, 1600 villagers were killed and most civilian houses including all of the mosques in Shadian were completely destroyed.100 As a villager remembered, “I heard the gunshots when we were all sleeping. My dad hurried us to take important belongings and fled to Jinji Zhai. My sister carried me on her back, running after my parents and my brother in the dark. I was too scared so I started to cry. My sister warned me that ‘if you don’t stop, PLA soldiers will find us and kill us all.’ I stopped crying right away.” The Muslim woman continued, “we stayed in a refugee house at Jinji Zhai before we came out to surrender on August 3. My brother told us that he needed to go and retrieve grain coupons from our house, but he never came back since the day he left us.”101 Another villager recalled: By afternoon on August 4, we came out from the Jinji Zhai to surrender, because we had no place to escape and hide any more. We were surrounded by the sound of explosions and gunfire, and most houses around us were destroyed. We were the last group of 157 people that came out. Among us, the oldest was 84 and the youngest was 3. As we were walking out, all of a sudden, the PLA soldiers started shooting at us. I will never forget about that moment—people walking in front of me immediately fell down just like sugarcanes that got cut off. I fell into the rice field together with two other people. After the PLA soldiers saw some of us were still alive, they shoot at us again. The two people around me were killed and I was shot several times. My wife and I were among the only five villagers who survived through this disaster. Maybe Allah did not want our lives at the time.102 It is clear that the Beijing negotiation between the Muslim delegation and the top CCP leadership failed to reach to the mutual agreement. Although the limitation of the sources regarding the details of the negotiation hinders us from gaining a complete insight into the event, we can interpret the reasons articulated in the public notice issued by the CCP authorities in understanding why the Party decided to use the military force to solve the Shadian conflict. First, the CCP top leadership failed to understand why the Muslim villagers strongly refused to allow the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   100 Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1955), 434. 101 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   102 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    44  PLA to enter Shadian. For the villagers, they experienced tremendous physical and especially spiritual humiliation during the 1968 Stab Open the Hornet’s Nest Campaign carried out by the work teams and PLA soldiers. They did not want the same thing to happen again, so they strongly opposed Party Centre’s decision to dispatch the PLA to enter Shadian. However, Party Centre regarded the villagers’ opposition as an “armed counterrevolutionary rebellion.” This wrongful judgment must have stemmed from the CCP leadership’s extremely limited information obout the development of the local conflicts between the Muslims and the local cadres during the early period of the Cultural Revolution, as well as its negation of the villagers’ religious-based demands in insisting the government to allow their Islamic practices. Under the radical environment of the Cultural Revolution, the gap and conflict between the CCP authorities and the Muslim community was further exacerbated, which led to the massacre.  	
    45  4. The Aftermath of the Shadian Massacre (1975-2007)  4.1  Crackdown and Arrests Following the Massacre (1975-1976)  After enduring the bombing, Shadian was completely razed to a burned land with few buildings left.103 PLA soldiers entered the village to randomly arrest and massacre villagers who they considered counterrevolutionaries. One survivor of the massacre recalled, “My dad was tall and white. Villagers always thought he looked like a westerner, especially because he also had curly hair. When came out the village together with my mom and sister to surrender, the PLA soldiers stabbed him to death, accusing him of being a Soviet revisionist spy.”104 Other eyewitness mentioned the same story, stating that, “he was such a friendly and nice person in our village— never picked on anyone. We cannot understand that such a nice guy can be stabbed to death only because he looked like a westerner!” The eyewitness also told me that when she and other survivors gathered dead bodies from the streets, farm fields, and ruins of destroyed houses, to bury them in accordance with Islamic customs, they found eight dead bodies of young girls and boys aged seventeen or eighteen in a manure pit. Their throats were all pierced with steel wires. She burst into tears as she recalled, “How could [the PLA soldiers] do cruel things just like what the Japanese did? We are after all their fellow countrymen! How could they have the heart to brutally massacre us? The Japanese wanted to conquer all of China at that time, but what have we done wrong? We only asked the government for religious freedom!”105 Indeed, like many other villagers who undoubtedly acknowledge their Chinese citizenship, the Muslim woman does not understand  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   103 Shadian Huizu shiliao, 55. 104 Conversation with villager 7, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   105 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    46  why they were treated as enemies only because they wanted to believe in Islam. This question, as we will see later in the paper, has puzzled the Shadian Muslims to this day. The Shadian villagers witnessed their family members getting killed and the village being completely razed by rocket artillery as their nightmare continued. The revolutionary government carried out massive campaigns to squash the resistance of the Shadian villagers and made widespread arrests. Right after the seven day attack, the Yunnan provincial government and the Shadian revolutionary work teams issued an official propaganda notice called The decision of the government to crack down on the Shadian insurrection (武装平叛沙甸叛乱) to the public. The notice outlined several “crimes” that the Shadian Muslims committed, such as: “the villagers were ready to carry out armed rebellion against the Chinese state; Shadian intended to establish an ‘Islamic Republic’; The villagers had close connection with the Russian revisionists; They betrayed their motherland and opposed the leaders of the central government; They caused riots by conducting beating, smashing and looting to rebel against the new-born red regime.”106 The CCP used these accusations to justify using military force against the villagers. The revolutionary work teams also organized The Exhibition of the crime of the Shadian armed rebellion (沙甸武装叛乱罪行展览) in Jijie (鸡街), a town next to Shadian with a majority Han ethnic population. The exhibition accused the Shadian Muslims of stirring up riots by displaying the “advanced weapons” the villagers owned and used to fight with PLA soldiers to Han and other ethnic groups. It is ironic that many Shadian survivors went to see the exhibitions and pointed out that the so-called “advanced weapons” originally belonged to the PLA troops and had been seized by the Muslim militia during the fight.107 As one villager recalled, “I went to Jijie to see the exhibition with several villagers, we saw it presented a small artillery our Muslim 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   106 Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 149. 107 Ibid., 149. 	
    47  Militia made. People around us were all saying that how could such a small and weak weapon be powerful enough to fight with the PLA…it could at maximum hurt a couple of people…”108 “They even presented a picture of a stone arch in our village built in Qing dynasty and said it was the entrance of a tunnel connected to Vietnam…they accused us of digging tunnels to contact foreign reactionaries,” another villager added.109 The villagers recalled that, in the end, the government was so embarrassed that it decided to withdraw all the displays because they had pointed out the flaws at the exhibition.110 The state exhibition and its official condemnation of Shadian attempted to portray the Muslims as class enemies who wanted to betray the CCP. It labeled the protest of the Muslim villagers as counterrevolutionary, completely denying the fact that they had only asked the state to respect their Islamic beliefs. In the name of cleaning up counterrevolutionaries, the work teams randomly arrested Muslim suspects whom they believed to have participated in the uprising. As an eyewitness described: My neighbor, who was an elderly woman, carried her wounded daughter and got blood all over her hands and clothes. Because of this, the PLA soldiers believed she had participated in fighting against the government. They tossed the old woman onto a military truck and sent her to the Mengzi county police station. The woman now cannot stretch her back due to the spinal cord injury caused by that violent toss.111 The authorities gave heavy sentences and death penalties to more than ten Shadian Muslims who directly participated in the fight with PLA soldiers. Hundreds of the Shadian Muslim villagers were forcibly sent to political camps to receive thought reform education.112  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   108 Conversation with villager 8, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   109 Conversation with villager 9, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   110 Random villagers who I happened to have conversations provided information similar to that provided by villager 8 and villager 9. 111 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   112 Yunnan Huizu wushinian, 149. 	
    48  The Shadian Muslims resisted the arbitrary accusation by continuing their religious practice. As a Shadian Muslim woman recalled in her experience after the massive crackdown carried out by the authorities, “we continued to sneakily do the five pillars of worship everyday at home or at discarded barns, although the work teams forbade us from worshipping Allah.” The woman was seventeen years old at the time. Much like many other villagers, PLA soldiers destroyed her home during the bombing. She ended up staying in a crowded thatched cottage with elderly people and little children when winter approached. As she recalled, “we had few clothes on. Our houses and most of our belongings were all burned down. When it snowed, we all shivered with cold. I cannot control my tears as soon as I think of those hard times.” To make it worse, she added, was that the cadres from the work teams frequently approached her to persuade her to join in the Maoist thoughts propaganda dance team: I refused them every time. They seemed shocked that I was not enthusiastic about the Maoist dance team by asking me, ‘many young girls in the city cried so much when they did not get chosen, how come you are totally the opposite?’ I did not feel like explaining anything to them, so I kept silent. After witnessing so many of our Muslims, including my family members, get slaughtered, do you think I would have that mood to dance? My uncle was shot to death by a bullet in his forehead as soon as he opened the door. My 3-year-old cousin was blown up to the sky by an artillery shell. He was wearing a little red sweater at the time… The woman told me that, in order to express their sorrow and to bolster up each other’s morale, the villagers compiled many songs and spread them around the Muslim community. She sang one of them to me: “the sound of cannons and guns broke our dream in the mid-night (夜半  三更哟枪炮响); our Shadian Muslims suffer a catastrophe since then (穆斯林同胞们受灾难); if we were to expect blessings from Allah (若要盼得哟安拉的恩慈); Muslim brothers and sisters, let’s join in us to the fight against the suppression (穆斯林同胞们快来战斗吧)…”. She said that, “Everyone, young and old, could sing these songs at the time. On July 29 every year, we also gathered together to commemorate our Muslim compatriots who sacrificed for Allah. We cried so 	
    49  much as we sang the songs and remembered the hardship.”113 The official suppression did not compel the compliance of the Shadian villagers; rather, it further stirred their resolve to rely on Islam in protesting the authorities. The local authorities arrested the woman later because she led the villagers to sing the songs while they were transplanting rice seedlings on the farm. On June 1, 1976, several work team members kicked open the door and dragged her out of bed. Without giving her any chance to gather her belongings, they sent her to the Mengzi county police station. On July 16, 1976, the authorities accused her of committing the crime of ‘actively participating in counterrevolutionary religious activities while strongly refusing to take part in the Maoist thought propaganda dance team eleven times’ and sentenced her to ten years imprisonment. She recalled that, “eleven times, they even recorded how many times I refused them! But what have we done wrong? We sang these songs to speak out the truth and to express our feelings!” the woman’s voice trembled with emotion as she recalled. Her husband was also sentenced to five years in jail in July 1976 after he publicly led Shadian villagers to worship Allah on the Festival of Fast-breaking.114 The conflict between the revolutionary authorities and the Shadian Muslims originated from the communist party officials’ ignorance toward the Islamic beliefs of the villagers. The local authorities failed to recognize the religious and metaphysical aspects of Islam as the core belief system of the Shadian Muslims, which was deeply rooted in the Muslims’ day-to-day lives. As the cases of the Muslim woman and her compatriots showed, this Islamic tradition could not be easily eradicated and replaced by Maoist revolutionary idealism. Shadian villagers only rebelled when they were confronted by the threat of banned Islamic practice imposed by the revolutionary partystate. For the Communist officials, the secularized revolutionary mentality led them to believe that 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   113 Conversation with villager 10, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   114 Conversation with villager 10, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    50  the Muslim villagers intended to subvert the rule of the Communist Party by resisting the decisions made by the top leadership—all without seeking to understand the fundamental reason that drove the Shadian villagers to rebel. As one former Militia member stressed, “I was born and raised underneath the socialist red flag in a new society. My childhood dream was to become a soldier to safeguard the frontier of China. How could it be possible that we wanted to overthrow the government? ... But if you [the government] forbid us from worshiping Allah, which is more important than our lives, we will fight you to the death.”115 It was the tension between the Communist officials’ de-emphasis of the religious essentiality of Islam to the Shadian villagers and the Shadian Muslims determination to demonstrate their strong faith to Allah that escalated the conflicts during the Mao era. This tension continues in the post-Mao period under the new communist leadership, even though the party has since realized the importance of respecting religious freedom and practice in maintaining social stability in today’s China.  4.2  The CCP’s Redress of the Massacre during Reform (1976-1980)  On October 6, 1976, one month after Mao Zedong’s death, the central Communist Party under the new leadership of Hua Guofeng, Mao’s successor, shattered the “Gang of Four” and ended the Cultural Revolution. Since the 1975 Shadian massacre, a few provincial officials in Yunnan had opposed the revolutionary work teams’ method of handling the Shadian Muslims’ requests for religious freedom and the central government’s decision to use military force to solve the conflicts. Among them was Wang Lianfang, a Hui Communist official the Party appointed as the Vice Party Secretary of Yunnan province, who was once struggled against by the radical revolutionaries during the Cultural Revolution. Wang Lianfang actively urged the Party Centre to re-investigate 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   115 Conversation with villager 2, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    51  the Shadian massacre since he was politically rehabilitated in 1978, and his repeated requests captured the attention of Hu Yaobang, the party secretary of the CCP. In September 1978, Hu dispatched Lei Zhongqing, the party secretary at the Institute of Religious Studies of the Chinese Social Sciences Academy to lead an eight-member investigation team to investigate the 1975 Shadian case in Yunnan. After the investigation team members read a large amount of documents about the event in Beijing, they decided to disguise their identities by claiming that they were just undertaking research on ethno-religious activities when they arrived Shadian in order to smoothly carry out the work. In fact, they carefully focused the investigation on the earlier accusations against the Shadian Muslims made by the revolutionary officials in 1975, which included the charge that “Shadian attempted to establish an independent Islamic republic through conducting armed counterrevolutionary rebellion,” “Shadian secretly established contact illegal agents including the Nationalist spies and Russian revisionist organizations” and so forth.116 In the end, all the evidence the investigation team collected proved that the so-called “Shadian armed rebellion” was mistakenly reported to the central government by the followers of “Gang of Four” in Yunnan and framed thereafter in a fallacious manner. The investigation members wrote up a report insisting that the central government should redress the Shadian conflict, even though a few party leaders at the Honghe prefecture of Yunnan province (the political governing district of Shadian) opposed this action, arguing that the provincial government would not be able to carry out the compensation work due to the “complexity of the problems related to the incident”.117 In February 1979, after receiving approval from the Chinese Communist Centre, the Yunnan Provincial Communist Committee and the Communist Committee of the Kunming Military Region issued the 1979 joint Document 7—The Notice on the Decision to Redress the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   116 Dangdai Yunnan Huizu jianshi, 121. 117 Ibid., 121. 	
    52  Shadian Incident. This document is the most significant official file that announced the Chinese government’s decision to internally redress the 1975 Shadian Muslim rebellion. The document concluded that Tan Furen and Zhou Xing, the leaders of the Yunnan Revolutionary Committee, were responsible for the conflict. It first blamed Tan Furen for “promoting the counterrevolutionary revisionism of Lin Biao and the ‘Gang of Four’ in Yunnan by encouraging class struggles to classify social groups based on one’s affiliation toward different political cliques, thereby badly undermining the relationship between Communist cadres and the masses and insulting the Muslim masses.” It concluded, “Tan’s approach not only harmed the feelings of the Hui ethnicity, but also sabotaged the ethno-religious policies of the party and ethnic unity, which caused significant complaints from the Muslim mass of Shadian.” It went on to state that, in contravention of the central government’s order to enforce the CCP’s ethno-religious policy, Zhou Xing, Tan’s successor, adopted the same mistaken method. This further intensified the conflicts and resulted in the 1975 Shadian incident.118 At this point, according to the document, the CCP concluded that the Shadian massacre originated from conflicts between political cliques promoted by Tan Furen and Zhou Xing, which denied that the authorities’ suppression over religion was the root cause of the tragedy. The document thus reflected the CCP’s ignorance of the religious motivation of the Shadian Muslims’ resistance. While the CCP redressed the mistaken accusation toward the Shadian Muslims by claiming that “the Shadian incident is not a counterrevolutionary rebellion. It was wrong to resort to military force,”119 it nevertheless failed to admit the religious root of the Muslims’ resistance. 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   118 Zhonggong Yunnan sheng weiyuanhui 中共云南省委员会 (The Communist Committee of the Yunnan Province), Zhonggong Kunming junqu weiyuanhui, 中共昆明军区委员会(The Communist Committee of the Kunming Military District), Guanyu shadian Shijian de pingfan tongzhi《关于沙甸事件的平反通知》(Notice on the Decision to Redress the Shadian Incident), February 17, 1979, Document 7. 119 Ibid. 	
    53  Consequently, the CCP’s policy implementation, which was guided by this principle, has proved to be futile in solving the conflict between the authorities and the Muslim masses when the local authorities carried out the redress work. In order to give a general instruction on how to carry out the redress work, the 1979 Document 7 called on all the Communist officials to be keenly aware that “Lin Biao and the ‘Gang of Four’ are the arch-criminals of the Shadian incident. Their followers in Yunnan such as Tan Furen and Zhou Xing are thus responsible for the tragedy.” In addition, it ordered that the authorities “must guide the masses and officials to pour all of their innumerable hatred and enmity onto Lin Biao and the “Gang of Four” […while] educating the masses to unite together and to look forward to the future instead of the past for [their] collective interests.”120 It is clear that the Communist government de-emphasized the fundamental causes of the Shadian conflict, which were the long-lasting and repeated struggles between the officials’ suppression of Islam and the Muslims’ insistence on religious freedom. Instead, the Party not only blamed the Shadian massacre on local officials in Yunnan, the “Gang of four” far away in Beijing, and Lin Biao who died in 1971, but it also blamed the tragedy on the Muslim representatives’ insistence on asking the government to respect Islam. As the official document states, “Ma Bohua, Ma Kaizhi, Zhen Quanshu and Ma Shaomei [leaders of the Shadian Muslim Militia] resisted the order of the central government and intensified the conflicts. They are responsible for the tragedy, especially because they established illegal secret agents, attempted to betray their country, caused bloody incidents by conducting beating, smashing and looting, sabotaged ethnic policy and ethnic unity. They did commit crimes […]. Grassroots officials, work teams and the PLA troops are not responsible for the incident. We must carefully protect them.”121 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   120 Ibid. 121 Ibid. 	
    54  The CCP refused to recognize that the Shadian Muslims resisted the authorities not because they wanted to act like savages who attempted to “betray their country by conducting beating, smashing and looting,” but rather, were frustrated and politically powerless religious individuals, who struggled for the freedom to practice Islam. The central government, on one hand, claimed that the work teams and PLA soldiers, whom the Shadian villagers considered the guiltiest party that had directly forbade their religious practice and massacred their compatriots, were innocent and that they “must be carefully protected.” On the other, it claimed that the leaders of the Shadian Muslim Militia that the Muslim villagers viewed as religious heroes for leading the resistance were to be condemned because of their alleged “crimes”. The dissonance explains why the local officials and work teams encountered even greater resistance from the Shadian Muslims when they attempted to follow the guidelines of the 1979 Document 7 to redress the historical grievances of the Shadian villagers. It is worth mentioning that the public, especially the ethnic communities other than the Muslims, had little chance of knowing that the CCP decided to redress the 1975 massacre, since the 1979 Document 7 requested that mass media “must not report the central government’s redress decision” so as to “be vigilant against a few bad people who attempt to use this case to undermine ethnic unity and to make a disturbance in our society.”122 Ironically, this policy further continued the misunderstanding of other ethnic groups, especially the Han Chinese, toward the religious aspect of the Shadian Muslim resistance. Until the present, most Han Chinese believed that the Shadian Muslims deserved to be oppressed because they stirred up riots in the first place. As one Han woman told me, “The CCP did a great job to employ the military force to teach those savage Hui Zi (回子)[an insulting way to refer to Muslims] a lesson—they are wild criminals who  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   122 Ibid. 	
    55  conducted drug trafficking and traitors who attempted to rebel against the government.”123 During my field trip, almost every Han Chinese I have met, more or less indicated such a perspective against the Shadian Muslims. It is thus difficult to imagine that the goal—“ethnic unity,” which the Party often uses to justify its cause of decision, could be maintained, let alone achieved, under such circumstances. In addition, the 1979 document—Report on the Remaining Policy Problems that Urgently Need to be Solved for the Work on the Hui issued by the Kunming United Front Department stresses the need to “respect the traditions and customs of the Hui” by requesting restaurants to separate food-preparing processes between the Hui and Han (to avoid pork products). This notice indicates the local authorities’ limited understanding of Shadian villager’s belief system, for it simply secularized the Islamic religion of the Shadian Muslims to the “tradition and customs of the Hui”.124 The party officials failed to realize that the Islamic beliefs of the Muslim villagers were more than just a set of “traditions and customs” that mainly imply ritual aspect of a certain culture and belief.125 This document suggested that, while the party tried to design policies to bring about stability among the Muslim communities, it failed to recognize the religious nature of the Shadian villagers’ belief system and this led to further disputes between the Muslim community and CCP authorities. Following the 1979 Document 7, the Department for Ethnic Work at the Yunnan Provincial Communist Committee issued several official notices, including the 1979 Notice on 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   123 Conversations with my cousin (Han Chinese), whose grandfather was a PLA general and participated in the 1975 PLA attack against Shadian, Kunming, Yunnan, China, August 2012. 124 Zhonggong Kunmingshiwei tongzhanbu 中共昆明市委统战部 (The United Front Department), Dangqian Huimin gongzuozhong jixu jiejue de liangge zhengcexing wenti de qingshi baogao 《当 前回民工作中急需解决的两个政策性问题的请示报告》(Report on the Remaining Policy Problems that Urgently Need to be Solved for the Work on the Hui), October 17, 1979, Document 67. 125 Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, 90-106. 	
    56  Dealing with the Remaining Problems of the Shadian Incident and the 1980 Several Complementary Suggestions on Compensations for the Victims of the Shadian Incident, to specify detailed reconstruction and compensation policies at local level. The documents stipulated that the government should provide sufficient funds to rebuild the seven mosques that were destroyed during the 1975 PLA attack, as well as to compensate those villagers who lost family members or became disabled during the massacre. Additionally, it stated that 200 Muslim orphans could be selected to work in state-owned industries.126 One Muslim villager, who helped the officials to sort out the numbers of the Shadian massacre victims, indicated that the village cadres only orally told villagers how much compensation they could receive from the government, depending on each family’s situation. For instance, if a family had only one son and lost him during the massacre, it could receive 30 RMB monthly payments. “My uncle lost his son and he has been paid this much for twenty years. The amount was raised to 230 RMB in 2010, since we have been petitioning the government starting in 1979… a family that lost any member could also receive 300 RMB (43 Canadian dollars) one-time compensation,” the villager said. 127 “Buy the life of our Muslim for just 300 Yuan, while the government paid 3000 RMB compensation to a PLA solider who died in the incident!” another villager added.128 The villagers felt it was unfair that they received little financial compensation for the loss of their loved ones, especially compared with the families of former military veterans. What angered the Shadian Muslims the most, however, was the CCP’s decision to protect the former revolutionary officials who, the villagers thought, strictly suppressed their Islamic practice  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   126 Yunnan Huizu wushinian,153. 127 Conversation with villager 1, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   128 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    57  and directly caused the conflicts in the first place. The villagers thus strongly believed that these work team cadres must get punished. Right after the 1979 Document 7 was issued, the Shadian Muslims petitioned the local authorities to arrest a few “religious traitors (Muslim cadres)” to pacify the grievances and anger of the masses. As one Muslim villager who experienced the Four Cleanups and Cultural Revolution stressed, “those religious traitors were really bad at the time. They burned the Quran, closed our mosques and forbade the mass from conducting Ramadan. A Muslim female cadre called Ma Shufen went around each family to force the villagers to drink water to find out who was conducting Ramadan.129 Those villagers who she caught were all subject to public criticism and physical beatings at the class struggle meetings. […] She also ordered us to raise pigs in the village.” The villager added, “but the government totally ignored our requests. Those religious traitors fled to Gejiu city after knowing that the masses wanted to get revenge from them. Local officials then provided them with food and accommodations.”130 The villagers searched in and around Shadian for Muslim cadres in order to inflict punishment on them. As the villager recalled: We went to Gejiu to search for those religious traitors—it was at dawn. The Gejiu dwellers told us that beating people on the street was against law. I told them that because of these traitors, more than 800 Muslims were killed… and that the PLA soldiers were crueler than the Japanese and the fascists—I witnessed them stabbing a whole family, who were tied up to a tree in their yard, to death. Not to mention a pregnant woman called Wang Shuqin, who was killed after the PLA soldiers picked the baby out of her belly with a bayonet. The Gejiu people then left quietly […]131  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   129 During the Ramadan, the Muslims do not drink water and eat food in the daytime. 130 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   131 Conversation with villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012. Wang Shuqin’s name was written in the list of the Shadian Muslim victims in Shadian Huizu shiliao (Historical Materials on Shadian), 195. Several villagers I talked with confirmed the credibility of this information.	
   	
    58  By 1980, four former Communist cadres, including Bai Shiliang, the party secretary of the Shadian production brigade, Wang Xiwen, Tian Yiliang, and “Tokyo Sack” (Dongjing Koudai)132 were beaten to death by the angry Shadian villagers and several Muslim cadres were seriously injured. Another Shadian villager who also participated in the lynching recalled that, after several conflicts like this occurred in Muslim communities, Wang Lianfang, the party secretary of Yunnan provincial government, came to Shadian to persuade them to surrender themselves to the police. However, the masses stormed the Shadian district government office to protest every time he came. “We argued that [the government] did not punish the people who slaughtered us, yet wanted to punish our victims instead?” the villager stressed. 133 The government did not know how to deal with the 1980 conflict and the protest of the Muslim masses, given the fact that these events were mob actions. At the end, it attempted to blame Ma Boliang, the younger brother of Ma Bohua who was the top leader of the 1975 resistance and died during the event, for masterminding the riots. “The officials even tried to persuade us to blame everything we did on him. But he was so young and timid. He just followed the masses and did not beat anyone,” the villager recalled.134 The 1980 case thus remained unsolved until 1983, when Deng Xiaoping launched a nationwide highpressure strike against criminal activities. During the campaign, the government sentenced Ma Boliang to 18 years imprisonment, accusing him of illegally owning a gun and leading the 1980 riots.135  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   132 Nickname of the person, the Shadian villagers could not recall his real name since everyone called him by his nickname at the time. 133 Conversation with villager 1, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   134 Conversation with villager 1, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   135 Conversation with villager 1, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
    	
    59  It is worth noting that, the villagers emphasized the need to punish “religious traitors,” which reflected the religious aspect of the motivation. In the Muslim villagers’ eyes, the Muslim cadres did not only betray their compatriots, but more importantly, they betrayed their Islamic faith for the political and economic inducements that the CCP offered. For the CCP, these Muslim cadres should be carefully protected, since they loyally implemented the government policies during the Mao period. These unresolved conflicting perspectives, with the Muslim villagers stressing loyalty to Allah while the CCP stressed loyalty toward itself, that led to the 1980 lynchings. Therefore, the CCP’s 1979 redress decision did not help ease the grievances of the Shadian villagers because it continued to ignore the religious essentiality of the 1975 Shadian resistance. Ironically, the Communist government did not predict that its policies to redress the Shadian massacre would restore grievances and anger among the Shadian Muslims. In fact, the Shadian villagers’ open protest in 1980 caused debates within the Communist provincial leadership of Yunnan. At the 1981 Yunnan Provincial Conference, Sun Yuting, the vice party secretary of the Yunnan provincial government, delivered a speech representing the official opinions and policy orientations on the 1980 Shadian riots. He stated, “because of a few problems that occurred a few days ago, some people in the party already started complaining that ‘we should not have redressed the Shadian incident. Such an opinion is absolutely wrong. We can imagine what kind of horrible situation we would have to face if we ever had tried to cover the incident, considering that the Muslims already have started to cause chaos, if we ever had tried to cover the incident”.136 In another party meeting on the Hui ethnicity work report, Sun explained his insights on the reason the 1980 conflict in Shadian emerged. He asserts, “since June 1980, a handful of 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   136 Sun Yuting, Sun Yunting minzu gongzuo wenji (Work Reports by Sun Yunting on Ethnic Issues) (Beijing: Minzu chubanshe, 1992), 238. 	
    60  chaos-making figures (闹派人物), who desired to see the world plunged into chaos, always used all kinds of excuses to cause trouble. They often make a disturbance in public in the name of ‘ethnicity’ and ‘religion.’ We must not let them try all kinds of tricks to mislead the public. The recent conflicts did not happen without reason since they were related to the activities of the international religious reactionary forces and the domestic anti-socialist elements.”137 The secretary attributed the cause of the 1980 conflict to “a handful of chaos-making figures” who aimed to “see the world plugged into chaos.” Such an analysis carried on the revolutionary mentality of the Mao era that assumed that the Shadian Muslims always intended to cooperate with international “reactionary force,” to overthrow the socialist government by “making a disturbance in public,” which again denied the religious basis incentives of the villagers’ protests. Guided by this biased understanding, Sun mapped out a few policies to deal with the problems during his talk. He stated that, instead of compromising with the requests of the Muslims when they stormed the government offices, official workers should “try hard to educate, persuade and criticize those chaos-making figures.” “If we were to compromise, we would encourage the arrogance of the chaos-making figures and get stuck in a passive position by creating a misconception that our government is afraid of chaos in front of the mass,” he stressed. Echoing the 1979 Document 7, Sun again pointed out the need for the government to improve the ideological consciousness of the masses over the cause of the 1975 conflict by educating them that the “Gang of Four,” which was to be distinguished from the CCP, was responsible for the tragedy and it was wrong to think that ‘the CCP is the same in Mao era and the present”. He stated: We should let the Muslims understand that, rather than the Hui ethnicity alone, our whole nation suffered disaster in the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. In fact, it is because of our great party that the “Gang of Four” was destroyed; it is because of our prudent party that the Shadian incident could be redressed. […] It is certain that, so long as we make the masses understand this point, they would be satisfied even if we give them less 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   137 Ibid., 248. 	
    61  compensation. If we don’t educate them to improve their political consciousness, this would lead to a vicious cycle once we keep giving them lots of compensation.138 The party leader continued to turn blind eyes on the complaints of the so-called “chaosmaking figures.” It thus failed to recognize that the 1980 conflict derived from the Shadian villagers’ accumulated anger toward the Muslim cadres who slandered the values of the Quran, betrayed their religion and forbade their Muslim fellows from believing in Islam, rather than originating from the villagers’ intention to sabotage socialist stability by collaborating with the international anti-socialist forces. The secularized perception and utilitarian method employed by the CCP in redressing the Shadian massacre were problematic in that they were deeply influenced by an unchanging mentality that assumed that the Muslim masses were willfully to stirring up chaos. This mentality was part and parcel of the Communist government’s ignorance toward the religious aspect of the Shadian Muslims’ complaints and protests.  4.3.  The CCP’s Promotion of an Islamic Revival (1981-2007)  Beginning in the early 80s, learning from experiences that forcible prohibition against religious practice would only result in further resistance from religious communities, the CCP established policies to allow public and open practice of officially recognized religions, although it insisted that religion eventually needed to be eliminated, albeit not by force, because it was backward compared with socialist modernity. As Sun Yuting stated in a party meeting in 1981, “it is very difficult for us to distinguish the religious and ethnic natures of the Hui ethnicity […] One thing for sure is that religion is like opium that poisons people’s minds, but we cannot employ crude methods to eradicate it since it belongs to the category of individual thoughts. In order to eliminate religion, we can only eradicate the social and mental roots, in which religion was able to embed 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   138 Ibid., 242-243. 	
    62  itself, by promoting the socialist economy, culture and science on the premise of protecting freedom of religious belief.”139 It is apparent that, although the CCP implemented policies to promote religious revival and practice since the late 1980s, its attitude toward the nature of religion never changed. That is, the CCP continues to regard religion as backward thought incompatible with socialist modernity. Ultimately, just like the Mao period, the party’s goal was to eradicate religion through economic development. As a consequence, guided by this recognition, the CCP’s religious revival policy was utilitarian and superficial, because it was not based on the government’s genuine recognition toward the metaphysical nature of religion, but rather on the CCP’s need to consolidate its rule over ethno-religious communities. This explains why the Shadian villagers have continued to petition the authorities even after the government actively promoted Islamic revival amongst Yunnan Muslim communities. Since the late 1980s, Yunnan Muslims have seemingly enjoyed much more relaxed material environment in terms of their religious practice. The CCP launched several reconstruction projects such as providing funds for the renovation of Islamic schools, rebuilding mosques and establishing Islamic teaching institutions in order to support the revival of Islam in Yunnan province. As a result, there are over 600 mosques across Yunnan province, which is 1.4 for every 1,000 Yunnan Muslims. Many mosques provide students with standardized Arabic and Quran training. In addition, Islamic training colleges and institutions have been established to cultivate new imams for Muslim communities across Yunnan. In fact, these institutions also attract many Muslims outside Yunnan such as students from Xinjiang and Ningxia provinces. For the past two decades, the CCP has been providing funding in supporting quite a few selected Yunnan Muslims to travel to Saudi Arabia to make the hajj. Many Muslim students are also able to travel aboard to  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   139 Dangdai Yunnan dashi jiyao (1949-1995), 504. 	
    63  receive religious training in Arab countries.140 Religious education on Islam also has experienced rapid development in the post-Mao era. Many mosque-based schools, which focus on teaching basic knowledge of Arabic and the Quran, are allowed to open and to receive students again.141 In Shadian, the government invested 1.3 million RMB to construct China’s largest mosque—the Grand Mosque of Shadian—that takes up 90 acres of land, and can accommodate more than one thousand worshippers at a time. The construction of the mosque started on September 14, 2003 and it became operational in 2009.142 When I was in Shadian, every village I talked to felt proud about the Grand Mosque of Shadian. Most importantly, they felt grateful that they were able to practice Islam in a much freer environment compared to their Muslim fellows in Xinjiang province. “I am proud of being a Muslim—I would definitely identify myself as a Muslim rather than as Hui… if it were not for the heroic struggle of our Muslim predecessors in the 1975 massacre, we would not have today… look at our Xinjiang compatriots—the government has forbidden people below the age of 18 from entering mosques there. Muslims of course will resist if the government coerces. We believe in Allah not the Communist party,” a villager indicated.143 Another villager added, “Our situation today was brought about in exchange of the blood of those Muslims who resisted and sacrificed in the 1975 massacre.” When I asked whether the government was promoting religious freedom in Shadian, the woman said, “we can never figure out what is on the CCP’s mind (猜不透), nor do we know if the CCP really supports Islam. You see we can practice Islam now, but our Xinjiang compatriots are still suffering from the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   140 Susan McCarthy, “Ethno-Religious Mobilization and Citizenship Discourse in the People’s Republic of China.” Asian Ethnicity 1, no. 2 (2000), 111. 141 McCarthy, If Allah Wills It, 124. 142 Yunnan Shadian daqingzhensi 云南沙甸大清真寺 (The Grand Mosque of Shadian). It is a pamphlet I received from the official administration of the Shadian Grand Mosque when I visited in summer 2012. 143 Conversation with villager 11, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   	
    64  suppression.”144 The CCP’s Islamic revival project, which merely focuses on the material provision, did not bring about the Shadian villagers’ trust of the government’s determination to respect and protect Islamic practice. The state-sponsored Islamic revival coated with the CCP’s superficial and utilitarian understanding of Islam and Muslim communities, thus, will not fundamentally solve the conflict that triggers repeated disputes between the Muslims and the government, for the conflict is deeply rooted in the CCP’s repeated denial of the religious essentiality of Islam. This factor was again reflected through the disputes between the Communist authorities and the Muslim villagers over the definition of the 1975 Muslim resistance. On June 29, 2007, the Yunnan provincial government issued a document to better carry out compensation work for military veterans. The file not only listed Shadian massacre as one of the 14 rightful battles that the party-state conducted against enemies such as the Nationalists, the American imperialists and anti-socialist reactionaries, but also equated the incident with the 1994 Pingyuanjie incident (平远街事件) in which the government took action to strike at the drug trafficking of the region.145 This document enraged the former Shadian Muslim militia members, who have been petitioning the government for financial compensation of their 3 years imprisonment following the official crackdown on the 1975 rebellion since 1979, when they were released. In response to the document, the former Muslim militia members challenged the official definition of their resistance in the petition letter by stating: The Shadian incident is one of the biggest unjust cases of Yunnan and the Communist Centre already redressed it in 1979. We therefore cannot help asking ‘is the Shadian incident a rightful battle? Who were the targeted enemies of the battle? Did you list all unjust cases in Yunnan as battles? Those butchers [PLA soldiers], who carried out the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   144 Conversation with villager 6, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   145 Yunnansheng minzhengting 云南省民政厅 (The Yunnan Provincial Civil Affairs Department), Guanyu kaizhan dui bufen jundui tuiyi renyuan diaocha modi he shenfen rending gongzuo tongzhi 《关于开展对部分军队退役人员调查摸底和身份认定工作的通知》(Notice on the Work to Carry out the Identity Confirmation of the Former Military Veterans),June 29, 2007, document 4. 	
    65  wrong decision from the top, destroyed our village and massacred the innocent. All of a sudden, you turned them into national heroes who could enjoy state-granted pension.”146 Why does the state’s definition of the Shadian incident matter so much to the Muslim militia members? Because it directly reflects the dominant attitude of the Communist leadership toward the nature of the Muslims’ resistance in 1975, which completely denied the religious cause of the rebellion by categorizing it as a criminal activity that deserved to be publically condemned and brutally suppressed. On the contrary, the Shadian Muslims firmly regarded the 1975 resistance as a glorious and just action that demonstrated their conviction in Islam. It goes without saying that the party’s intentioned misrepresentation of the 1975 Shadian rebellion will continue to encounter repetitive resistance from Shadian Muslims who believe that the glory of their Islamic faith and identity can be achieved through their past and present struggles against the physical and invisible suppression of the state. As a former Muslim militia member told me, when he and his fellows were released from jail in February 1979, after the CCP carried out the work to redress the Shadian massacre, many Shadian villagers waited outside the prison to welcome them back home. “As soon as they saw us, they immediately crowded around us and carried us all the way back home on their shoulders as if we were national heroes! This made me feel so proud that I can never forget it! […]”, he recalled this experience with delight. He added, “We went to jail because we fought for our human dignity and religious freedom. What we did was just. Why, until now, has the government not recognized our motivation? Are we, after all, guilty? If the government thinks we are guilty, it might as well put us back into jail. For our religious faith and our Muslim compatriots, nothing can frighten us…”147 There is no doubt that the incentives that motivated the 	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   146 Shadian shijian shouhairen 沙甸事件受害人 (Victims of the Shadian Incident),Guanyu yaoqiu jiejue “shadian shijian” yiliu wenti de baogao《关于要求解决“沙甸事件”遗留问题的报 告》(Petition Letter on the Requests of Solving the Remaining Problems of the Shadian Incident), 2010, author’s collection. 147 Conversation with villager 1 and villager 4, Shadian, Yunnan, China, July 2012.	
   	
    66  Shadian villagers to petition the government also derived from the need to pursue individual economic interests. However, the villagers’ strong reaction toward the party-state’s definition of the 1975 Shadian conflict as well as their fearless insistence on the justification of the Muslim rebellion indicated that Islamic faith played the most important role in shaping the way the Shadian Muslims make sense of their past resistance against the revolutionary authorities and current struggles with the government. For religious individuals like the Shadian Muslims, the metaphysical meaning of Islam, which the CCP authorities constantly denied, weighs the same as the ritual performance of the religion, which the government apparently supported and encouraged. This conflict explains why the disputes and conflicts between the religious Shadian villagers and the CCP authorities continued to exist during the state-sponsored Islamic revival.  	
    67  5. Conclusion  During the Cultural Revolution, the Shadian Muslims repeatedly protested the CCP local authorities’ religious suppression by supporting the Paopai faction as well as petitioning the provincial and central government for the right to openly practice Islam. Although economic and material interests have, to some extent, played a role in the villagers’ protests, I stress that Islamic belief played the most basic and significant role in motivating Muslim villagers to challenge the CCP authorities. The CCP’s material-based approach to religion has always hindered the party from understating the perspectives and behavior of religious individuals. Apart from the influence of Marx’s material-based interpretation of religion, the 1950s Minzu (ethnic) classification campaign carried out by the CCP authorities also significantly secularized the religious nature of Islam through defining Yunnan Muslims as the Hui ethnicity (回族)—a concept that does not have religious implications.148 The concept of the Hui ethnicity, which the Minzu classification campaign has further shaped and established, significantly influenced the communist authority’s secularized understanding of the Islamic religion of the Shadian Muslims. Consequently, since the Mao era, the party has considered the Shadian Muslims’ complaints and protests as counterrevolutionary or anti-socialist revolts that aimed to overthrow communist rule. It failed to realize that, as religious individuals, the Shadian Muslims resisted the local authorities not because they were savages who attempted to cause chaos but rather politically powerless subordinates who actively sought to have their voices heard by the CCP leadership.  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
   148 Yang Bin, “Central State, Local Governments,” 744; Dru C. Gladney, “Islam and Modernity in China,” 181.  	
    68  Under the circumstances of the Cultural Revolution, many Muslim villagers felt that they were left without choice but to support the Paopai faction in order to open the mosques, adopting such party-endorsed rhetoric as “To Rebel is Justified.” The petitions led by the Muslim leaders such as Mo Bohua, Zhen Quanshu and Ma Shaomei in the early 1970s also suggested that, as the Muslim petition team continuously protested the closure of mosques enforced by the local government, the local authorities and Party Centre repeatedly regarded the villagers’ protests as the conspiracies of the class enemy attempting to overthrow the leadership of the Party. This conflict and misunderstanding between the Party and the Shadian Muslims continued to develop along with the external factional conflicts under the radical context of the Cultural Revolution, which eventually led to Party Centre’s decision to employ military forces to crackdown on Shadian villagers’ resistance. Since the CCP’s 1978 reform and the 1979 decision to redress the Shadian massacre, the Communist leadership has been making an effort to adjust its ethnic and religious policies in order to reassure people about the government’s recognition of religious freedom and practice, which had been fiercely condemned and attacked by the Communist revolutionary leaders during the Cultural Revolution. In recent years, the central government has greatly supported Islamic revival in Yunnan by providing Muslim communities with funds for mosque reconstructions, Islamic learning schools, a variety of state-sponsored Islamic associations, as well as state-organized trips for Muslims to study abroad and make the hajj. However, the CCP’s renewed religious policy does not fundamentally solve the longstanding disputes that have existed between the Muslim communities and the authorities since the revolutionary period, because, rather than recognizing Islamic religion as a permanent theology deeply embedded in the day-to-day lives of Muslims, it ultimately aims to enhance Communist control over the Muslim communities in the name of socialist stability and ethnic unity. 	
    69  As a consequence, the CCP’s attempts to promoting socialist stability and ethnic unity are in vain, so long as religious individuals like Shadian Muslims continue to confront the CCP authorities and the majority of the Han Chinese’s biased understanding toward their past struggles for human dignity and Islamic faith during the 1975 Shadian massacre. Just as in the Cultural Revolution period, when the Shadian villagers, driven by their pursuit of religious freedom, petitioned the CCP leaderships at all levels and resisted the authorities’ coercive suppression, after more than two decades and under the CCP’s promotion of Islamic revival, the Shadian Muslims, driven by the same Islamic faith and religious understanding of their past struggles, continue to petition and to resist the CCP official misrepresentation of the 1975 Shadian conflict. It is clear that the CCP’s attitude toward Islam since the Mao era, which simplifies the metaphysical aspect of religion into merely superfluous behavior and action as ritual performance, ethnic customs or even superstition, has impeded it from understanding why Shadian Muslims have petitioned the government in the Mao period and the present. The Shadian Muslims’ struggles in the past and the present represent the challenges that many religious communities in modern China, including underground Christian groups, Buddhist monks in Tibet, Muslims in Xinjiang as well as Falun Gong practitioners, have been facing. Only when the CCP starts to re-evaluate the significance of religion and religious values in modern society, can mutual understanding between the state and religious individuals be achieved. While it is necessary to acknowledge that the CCP endorses the atheist worldview, it does not mean that the mutual understanding cannot be established within the current communist regime considering the party’s “United Front” policies before 1957 in fact significantly endorsed the diversity of China’s ethnic and religious groups. The Chinese government needs to realize that tolerating and respecting diverse ideologies including religions and opinions held by different social groups and individuals will not spark off chaos and conflicts. Instead, this pluralist approach will resolve 	
    70  many existing conflicts in Chinese society through cultivating a much open community that accepts, accommodates, and values different metaphysical meanings that each individual gives to his or her life experience, belief and identity.  	
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