Being muslim in Xi’s China

Beijing has vehemently denied that authorities have been ordered to seize copies of the Quran and other Islam-related items from Muslim residents in the restive western province of Xinjiang.

Published: 02nd October 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2017 02:25 AM   |  A+A-

Beijing has vehemently denied that authorities have been ordered to seize copies of the Quran and other Islam-related items from Muslim residents in the restive western province of Xinjiang. Earlier this week, Radio Free Asia reported that officials across Xinjiang were threatening families and mosques that ethnic minority Uyghur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims would face harsh punishment if they did not hand in prayer mats and copies of the Quran. According to the World Ughyur Congress, the police were using WeChat, a popular social media platform, to issue these threats.

An estimated 10 million Ughyur Muslims live in Xinjiang. Over the past few years, several hundred people have died in violence blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants and separatists, though rights groups say the violence is more a reaction to repressive Chinese policies. These include restrictions on “abnormal” beards and the wearing of veils in public places.  Refusal to watch state television or accept state education is also barred along with baby names with religious overtones such as Jihad, Imam and Medina.

In May, the World Uyghur Congress told Taiwan’s Central News Agency that the local government in Hotan had begun enforcing changes to lines recited during Friday prayers, and released photographs of documents which showed that the call to prayer across the prefecture was changed to: “We are the children of the motherland.

The motherland is great,”  and that the Tasbih—a repeatedly uttered section of prayers such as “Allah is great” —has been changed to: “We give thanks to China. We give thanks to Chairman Xi.” Earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a “great wall of iron” to secure Xinjiang. As Xi prepares for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China which begins October 18 in Beijing, one can expect even more measures as he ensures that nothing in the region rains on his parade.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp