Islamic State (Isis) has released a propaganda song in Mandarin, aimed at recruiting Chinese Muslims, just two weeks after executing a hostage from the country. The recording is in the form of a 'nasheeds' – an Islamic chant sung a cappella.
The four-minute song found its way to the internet via jihadist channels. Uighur Muslims have reportedly been targeted in the Chinese-language song, along with the entire Muslim community in the country.
In what is claimed to be near-perfect Mandarin pronunciation, the song roughly translates to: "The brilliance of Islam is etched in history. The purpose of our struggle is to let it shine again. Wake up! Muslim brother, now is the time to awaken. Take up your faith and courage, fulfil the lost doctrine."
The production quality is in no way inferior to the earlier releases of IS (Daesh), although no instruments have been used in the song as the Sunni group's harsh interpretation of Islam prohibits the use of music in songs. Extremist groups from the Middle East have previously tried to recruit Muslims in China, but it is unusual for them to release propaganda material in Mandarin.
It is unlikely that the recording would reach the Chinese public, as the country's cyberspace is heavily-censored. The Communist government in Beijing is critical of Muslims in the country, and Uighur separatists are in conflict with government forces in the restive Xinjiang region.
Meanwhile, officials in Beijing said they are not yet aware of the song. Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters during a routine press conference: "We hope we can safeguard the citizens of every country through international cooperation."
China has earlier expressed serious concern over the growing challenges posed by IS. It is estimated anywhere between 100 and 300 Chinese nationals are currently fighting in the conflict zones of Iraq and Syria on behalf of IS.