The Wrath of Genghis Khan video
In the news was the strange story about Chinese security who arrested 20 tourists from Britain, South Africa and India. The tourist were traveling as a party and were 30 days into a 47 day organized tour of China when officials accused them of being linked to a terror group and watching propaganda videos in their hotel room.
A few days later the tourists apparently ‘confessed’ and were deported without charge. It was claimed by some in the group that it was a misunderstanding where the video was a BBC documentary about Genghis Khan.
Sounds like the script to a 1970’s sitcom doesn’t it?
However, when you try to dig out the details of the story from UK and South African press, it turns more into a story of political intrigue that leaves quite a few open questions unanswered.
- One of the prominent arrests was Hoosain Jacobs and his wife, Tahira Jacobs. Mr Jacobs it turns out was an Umkhonto Wesizwe (MK) soldier (Militant wing of ANC) who was branded a terrorist by Apartheid South Africa hence his domicile in London. In this instance, they were traveling under South African passports.
- Then you have Salim Aziz Joosub, a Brokerage CEO whose brother Shameel Joosub, is CEO of South Africa’s largest mobile operator, Vodacom.
- Also arrested were South African Dr. Feroz Suliman and his wife, Dr. Sheenaz Mohamad.
- Throw in to this the involvement of Charity, Gift of the Givers, whose founder Imtiaz Sooliman acted as a spokesperson while the party was detained.
What it the common threat to the above? They are all devout Sufi Muslims.
Some of the media articles mention that some of the videos being watched were religious prayer videos which makes sense since the time they were detained was Ramadan.
What is difficult to gleam from the press is their itinerary before visiting Ordos. Where did the come from? The Xinjiang area is particularly sensitive to potential unrest from Muslim minorities, the largest being the Uighurs.
The other angle to this is the political embarrassment this arrest caused. China is South Africa’s largest trading partner ($61B which is greater than EU’s $55B) and South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was meeting with Chinese president Xi Jing Ping.
So what happened here in this part of China? Maybe someone got a little overzealous? Maybe there is some truth somewhere.
A question we have is how did China know they were watching these videos? If streaming them, then I’d understand it but it it was local copies of phone or computer, their rooms must have been bugged.
The place where they were detained was Ordos, inner Mongolia. It is known as the Ghost town of China
since only 2% of it’s buildings were ever filled. Bohemianblog has an excellent post on on visiting Ordos. The impression is that there is NOTHING going on in Ordos. If so, the spooks in Ordos may have had too much time on their hands.
A chinese puzzle meet Muslim Mysticism.