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  1. Islam has 151 million adherents in India, making it the third largest Muslim country in the world (even though the vast majority of India is Hindu). The Hindu nationalism of recent years has made Muslim backlash almost inevitable. India has over 200 active terrorist organizations within its borders, many (but not all) of which claim links to Islam. The current string of bombings has been small “grenade sized” bombs detonated in crowded places, and has been attributed to a preciously unknown Islamic group.

    Sinkiang, like Tibet, was taken over by China in 1949– but unlike Tibet, Sinkiang is predominantly Muslim (and lacks Tibet’s tradition of non-violence and its public attention). Sinkiang is made up of Hui and Uyghur peoples, some of whom seek independence from China; thus, China has its own source of extremism within its borders. The China bombings have been claimed by an Uyghur nationalist group. With the Olympics about to start, this is strategically a perfect time for a forgotten people to be remembered by the world.

    So, are the bombings directly connected? Almost certainly not. Do they have a common organizational link? Unlikely, though it is possible (but unlikely) that a single group helped train and/or supply the two sets of bombers. Do they have a common causal link? Absolutely– though I have more sympathy for the Chinese Muslims, who have no democratic means of expression, than for Indian Muslim extremists who are more likely to be linked to Al Queda and oppose India’s democracy.

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