torsdag 26. august 2021

Who is glorifying terrorism: Hong Kong students or the Chinese government?

A meme contrasting a photo of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi standing side-by-side with Taliban representatives and a photo of students from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) went viral on social media on August 18, 2021. Some netizens sought to criticize the Hong Kong and Chinese government's apparent double standard in defining terrorist groups, as they framed numerous university students and groups as dangerous terrorist threats while labelling the Taliban as ‘moderate students’.

The meme went viral just days after the arrest of four HKU students on a charge of ‘advocating terrorism’ after they passed a motion in the University Student Union on July 7 mourning a man who stabbed himself to death after attacking a police officer with a knife on July 1, 2021 — the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China. Through the motion, the student organisation expressed ‘deep sadness’ at the death of the 50-year-old Leung Kin fai and expressed appreciation for his ‘sacrifice’ to Hong Kong.

Soon after the assault had taken place, the Police Force labelled the July 1 police stabbing as an incident of ‘lone-wolf terrorism’ and said mourning the attacker’s death will glorify the act and can be viewed as ‘inciting a terrorist act’.