The Chinese government, in an attempt to “Sinicize” (make Chinese in shape or form) its Muslim population, has ordered halal restaurants, food stalls, and shops to get rid of Arabic scripts and symbols connected with Islam from their signs.

A manager of a Beijing noodle shop said in an interview with Reuters, that officials from various government offices told him to cover up these symbols on his shop’s sign and then watched him do it.

The manager claimed, “They said this is foreign culture and you should use more Chinese culture.”

Chinese Authorities Are Also Destroying Domes and Minarets On Mosques

In northwestern parts of China, where most residents are devout Muslims, the government is removing the most explicit expressions of Islamic faith.

Demolition of mosques are being carried out in Inner Mongolia, Henan, and Ningxia, the native land of China’s biggest Muslim ethnic minority, the Hui. Mosques were closed in the southern province of Yunnan as well.

Authorities have also destroyed mosques in a small village known as “Little Mecca”. Officials have banned the public use of Arabic script across the country.

The severe clampdown on Muslims that began two years ago with the Uighurs (minority Turkic ethnic group) in Xinjiang is spreading to more areas and more groups.

In 2017, China Banned Ramadan Observance In Its Muslim Regions

In China’s predominantly Muslim province, authorities sanctioned various measures to avoid observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with one official declaring that fasting is strictly prohibited and if they are caught fasting during this period, then “they will be dealt with”.

This was done in Communist China’s decade long attempt to replace religious observance with allegiance to the party.

To make fasting impossible, authorities forced party activists to do marathon shifts in the region, requiring them to “stand on 24-hour uninterrupted guard”.

In Hotan County, when students gathered in mosques on Fridays, they were compelled to “collectively study, watch red [communist propaganda] films, and conduct sports activities” in a way to “enrich their social life during the summer vacation.” 

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The Chinese State Also Uses Technology to Strip Muslims of Their Identity

The Chinese version of “war on terror” relies on facial recognition software and machine learning algorithms which use face scanners and biometric checkpoints to track the movements of Uighurs everywhere.

Other software and algorithms track Uighurs’ digital communication, searching for a suspicious pattern, identifying religious speech or even “a lack of enthusiasm in using Mandarin”.

Monitoring the Uighurs has also become a test case for advertising Chinese technological expertise around the globe.

Hundreds of government organisations and businesses from two dozen countries, including the US, France, Israel, and the Philippines, now take part in the highly powerful yearly China-Eurasia Security Expo in Urumqi, the capital of the Uighur region.

“Boiling Us Like Frogs”: China Is Persecuting Muslims Using Detention Centres

These centres have become a vital part of what Xi Jinping’s government calls the “people’s war on terror”. This campaign was launched in 2014.

The Chinese government treats every expression of Uighur Islamic faith as signs of possible religious extremism and ethnic separatism, under this campaign.

More than 1 million Turkic Muslims, including Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and others, have moved through detention centres, since 2017.

At the detention centre, Muslims are deprived of sleep and food. They are then put through hours of interrogation and verbal abuse.

“I was so weakened through this process that at one point during my interrogation I began to laugh hysterically,” said Alim, a Uighur man in his 20s, in an interview. Alim was kept in a small cell with 20 other Uighur men when he wasn’t being questioned.

Other detainees report being placed in stress positions, tortured with electric shocks, and kept in seclusion for long periods.

Chinese Government Slammed The United States’ Criticism Of Muslim Treatment As “Absurd”

After meeting with Mihrigul Tursun, a member of the Uighur ethnic group, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented that China’s treatment of its Muslim population is a “shameful hypocrisy”.

Beijing, on the other hand, claimed that the campsites are “vocational training centres” meant to offer language classes and employment, directing locals away from extremism.

“Pompeo’s comments are extremely absurd and grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs,” said Geng Shuang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, at a regular press briefing.

He asserted, “Currently, the overall situation in Xinjiang society is stable … and all ethnic groups get along harmoniously.”

China’s outright denial of its inhumane treatment towards its Muslim minority goes to show that it will not stop this torture anytime soon.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Times of Israel, New York Times, The Guardian + more

Find the author on Twitter: yuksxo

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