China passes law to ‘Sinicize’ Islam, make it ‘compatible with socialism’

An image of the Weizhou Grand Mosque in China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Hui Muslims have protested at the mosque after authorities said they were planning to demolish it. (Weibo)

In China’s latest move to control and indoctrinate the Muslim ethnic minority population in the communist nation, it passed a law that aims to “Sinicize” Islam within the next five years. According to a report from China’s leading English daily, Global Times, the Xi Jinping-government held talks with eight Islamic associations and came to a consensus over the need to “guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion.”

China is clamping down on minorities and tightening its control over a wide range of religious and political activity. Practising Islam has been prohibited in various parts of the country. Faith groups that had largely enjoyed freedom in the past are now faced with a “Sinification” campaign — to make it Chinese in character — and the threat of arrest if caught praying, fasting, growing a beard or wearing a hijab.

According to reports, the curbs on the religion also included the stripping off of Islamic crescents and domes from mosques, banning of religious schools and Arabic classes and barring children from participating in Muslim activities. In the past week alone, Chinese authorities in Yunnan province have closed down three mosques established by the marginalised Hui Muslim ethnic minority.

As per the United Nations, the officially atheist ruling Communist Party is known to have held over a million Uighur Muslims in an internment camp, where they were forced to denounce Islam and take an oath of allegiance to the government.

China has been accused by rights group of running a campaign of “ethnic cleansing”. However, defying international outcry and refuting all such reports, China claimed that the country protects the religion and culture of its minorities.

Source : Indian Express

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