Chinese nationalists oppose Islamisation with pig power
Xi Wuyi is a battler against what she calls 'religious fundamentalism eroding Chinese secular mainstream culture'.
Anti-Islamisation activist Xi Wuyi.
In the current Chinese Year of the Pig, she and other anti-halal campaigners ('vigilantes', in media-speak) are harnessing the awesome power of the pig to resist the spreading influence of Islam in China.
Xi and her fellow vigilantes have been watching with growing unease what they see as the creeping Islamisation of Chinese society, marked by the setting up of halal cafeterias in universities, the provision of halal-only food on planes and the use of code words to prevent the utterance of 'pig' or 'pork' on national television or social media.
For Xi's group, these developments represent a blatant effort to appease China's Muslim population in areas where they believe the state should make no compromises that blur the boundary between religious and secular life. In this Year of the Pig, the battles seemed more urgent than ever for the vigilantes.
Xi's supporters use all kinds of piggy symbolism to make their point, for example wearing pig outfits at the traditional new year parade in Xian, Shaanxi province - a city with a large Muslim population, a Grand Mosque, and a 'Muslim street' lined with halal food stalls.
Anti-halal 'vigilantes' wear pig outfits at the new year parade in Xian.
Pig lantern parade in Gansu province.
It's perhaps surprising to learn that many Chinese officials are as fearful of upsetting Muslims as their Western counterparts.
In places like Xian they tiptoe around anything pig-related, and in Linxia, Gansu province - called China's Mecca, for being 50 percent Muslim - state media routinely replace the word 'pork' with darou, meaning 'big meat'.
If a modern society ties itself in knots when talking about pigs, that's an abnormal phenomenon exhibiting a lack of confidence in Chinese culture.
For Chinese nationalists, the not-so-humble pig has become a powerful symbol of resistance to creeping Islamisation.
All hail the pig king!