Winston Churchill once said, "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
In recent years, I have been troubled by the news of human rights abuses that have been pouring out of China. Having grown up in what could be called the most brutal period of the Chinese communist regime, I know firsthand the suffering that those in power will inflict on the powerless.
It is unfathomable that the regime that my family escaped from and once thought a relic has risen like a phoenix to take centre stage as a world power. It has been enslaving the ethnic minorities of East Turkestan (Xinjiang), Tibet and Inner Mongolia as a source of cost-free labour, confining them to a vast network of so-called ?vocational skills education centres', prevalent especially throughout Xinjiang to detain and inflict atrocities on Uighurs as well as on other Muslim minorities living there.
I have written this book to first share my story so that you may know firsthand the realities of life under Chairman Mao's regime proclaimed by his stooges to be the ?Red Sun' of China. I then hope to educate you on the neglected history of the Tatar nation, most of them now living further to the north-west from China. Finally, I wish to give you the truth about China as I witnessed myself when I was living there, as well as told to me by those who have reached out from within in recent times.
I have also decided to begin this book with a chapter titled ?History and Foundations of Islam', which was written by me in Russian in the year 1990 at the request of the then Minister of Education of the Russian Federation, the Hon Mr Saburov, who, during his short tenure as the Minister, wanted to reform the Russian high school curriculum by producing new textbooks and also to include a textbook on the history of religions for the Russian high schools. Mr Saburov, however, lost his job when the Soviet Union disintegrated shortly afterwards, before his ideas about reforms and new textbooks for Russian schools were implemented. This year marks the 1,100th anniversary of the voluntary adoption of Islam in the year 922 by the Tatar people of the Kingdom of Bulgar, so this writing has now acquired a special significance for interested readers, even if it ended up never getting published in Russia in 1990.