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The rooster hadn’t even stopped his crowing when the police arrived at my Uighur host’s courtyard in rural Turpan one early spring morning in 2008. Although they spoke calmly, almost apologetically, the uniformed Uighur officers demanded that the foreign guest return on the next bus to Urumqi. Not wanting to invite more trouble for my friends, I scrambled to pack my bags and headed toward the village bus station.