The Islamic State (IS) has signaled that it wants to extend its recruitment efforts to Chinese Muslims in a bid to beef up the ranks of jihadist fighters who are currently waging a battle in Syria and Iraq.
On Sunday, the group published a new chant in Mandarin that calls on the country’s Muslims to “wake up” and “take up weapons to fight”.
The four-minute song was posted online by Al-Hayat Media Center, the media arm of IS, the New York Times reported, citing SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the propaganda of radical groups.
The chant, or nasheed, is an exhortation to rise up but does not specify a target, the report said.
But it could be aimed at placing China in the cross hairs.
IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had in July 2014 released a recording in which he named China as one of many countries in which “Muslims’ rights are forcibly seized”.
The latest recording, which is slickly produced, contains lyrics that extol death in service of Islam.
“We are Mujahid, our shameless enemy panics before us,” a male voice could be heard singing. “Our dream is to die fighting on this battlefield.”
The recording of a nasheed in Mandarin “is yet another example of the IS seeking to broaden its reach and support base,” the Wall Street Journal quoted SITE as saying.
China’s Hui ethnic group, which is predominately Muslim and numbers more than 10 million, is Mandarin-speaking but has traditionally practiced a moderate form of Islam, the Journal noted.
Mandarin is also the dominant language for some younger Uighurs.
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