How China has turned a city into prison for their Muslim minority

China has pushed its Muslim minority to the wall which active policing in Kashgar, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in country’s far west. China has established its re-education camps to detain Muslims, that operate not by any judicial process but by orders of police and party officials. Even the detentions do not follow any verdict of the courts.

A woman, who was working as an undertaker, was detained because she washed bodies according to the Islamic custom. Thirty residents of Ili,  a town near the Kazakh border, were arrested because “because they were suspected of wanting to travel abroad” – as local security chief tells.

Other offences that lead to the arrest include allowing others to preach religion, asking where one’s relatives are and failing to recite the national anthem in Chinese, and holding strong religious views.

”A significant chunk of the total Uighur population is interned in this way. If the rate of detention in Kashgar applied to the province as a whole, 5% of the Uighur population of 10m would be detained.”

An advocacy group, Maya Wang of Human Rights Watch, says that the overall number of detentions has reached about 800,000. A professor at Rose-Hulman University in Indiana, Timothy Grose, puts the numbers between 500,000 and 1 million.

” It implies that something like a sixth to a third of young and middle-aged Uighur men are being detained, or have been at some point in the past year” – he says. 

These unjust policies and harsh treatment of Uighur Muslim minority is justified saying that it is being done to minimise violence fuelled by Uighur separatism.

 


How China is systematically depriving Uighur Muslims of their identity


China and the controversial ‘reeducation camps’ have been under question for human rights violations repeatedly – but the criticism fails to impact the severity of the issue.

Washington has already called for sanctions on China for their repressive policies towards the Uighur Muslims but the global community as a whole maintains the insensitivity towards it. What has now started to raise eyebrows on the issue is the shocking ‘Family Separation Policy towards them – which is leading to an entire generation being robbed of their Muslim identity.

Uighurs is a Muslim ethnic minority that makes up China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. The country has suppressed the Uighur identity for long, claiming it is fueling the essence of extremism and separatism in the state. In the last year, China has made the policing in the region further stringent and has sent approximately one million Uighurs to what they call as ‘re-education camps’.

Several international reporting sources including The Independent have reported that they are forced to renounce Islam in these camps. The Communist Party also has characterized in one official recording as a ‘virus in their brain’ and a ‘mental illness’.

The reeducation not only affects the individuals themselves but the merciless Family Separation Policy – that isolates the children and puts them under state care – also cut off their ethnic connection with their native community and is robbing them of their identity.

“There was an attempt in the early 1900s to force all of what we would now call Uighur children to go to Chinese school. And it just failed miserably. Rich people would pay poor people to send their kids in their own kids’ place. All the education just got undone back in the home. But now, when you take the parents out of the picture, suddenly that sinicizing education can actually take root.” – said a Historian of Islam, Rian Thum.

You are a bad person. The Chinese police are good people –Uighur Muslim Imin recalled his seven-year-old child’s words while talking to The Atlantic, while he makes efforts to see his daughter that he hasn’t seen in a while amidst fear.

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