Finds New Target and New Tactics in Xinjiang
China continues its attack on religious organizations. Accusations have been made that Chinese officials have told Muslims in the Xinjiang region that they must turn in their prayer mats and anything with religious symbols or face “harsh punishment.”

This is a continuation of a policy of religious discrimination against the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic population in the region. Earlier in the year Qurans were forced to be turned in because of “extremist content.” Muslims have been banned from wearing “abnormal” beards, naming their children using common Muslim names, banning fasting for civil servants during Ramadan, and forcing the selling items forbidden to Islam (Haram) at stores, like cigarettes and alcohol. Incredibly, mosques are being told to change prayers from “Allah is great” to “the motherland is great.”

The tension between the Chinese government and the Uighurs has existed for decades. The current hostility towards the 10 million Muslim Uighurs comes from economic advancement in the region. While there was always anger over religious discrimination and a push for independence this was exacerbated by new economic projects being mostly filled by ethnic Han Chinese, who now total 40% of the region’s population. This has led to a string of violence actions and protests, causing the Chinese military to engage in violent reprisals. Hundreds have been killed, hundreds more given long prison sentences and the death penalty.

WRN has previously reported that the Chinese government is repeating a pattern of religious discrimination and human rights violations against any groups they deem to be a threat to their control over the country. The Chinese Communist Party has a policy of “China First.” This means that absolute loyalty to the party must be the first priority. Religions, by their very nature, are viewed as a violation of this doctrine. While religious discrimination has always existed, it seems to be dramatically increased in the last couple of years.

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