That the Chinese administration has destroyed hundreds of mosques in the Xinjiang region of Beijing over a period of last three months in the name of safety measures to control people in Uyghur Autonomous Region is known to many.
According to the media reports, police regularly raids Uyghur hideouts and imposes restrictions on religious practices of Muslims. These restrictions include disallowing people of Muslim community to fast during their holy month of Ramzan or wearing Islamic attire such as burqa in public places.
Considering the fact that China has Muslim population of close of 50 million, most of which are settled in Xinjiang, such constrictions by government and demolition of mosques is being regarded as suppression of Islamic religion in China. Silence of Pakistan, other Islamic nations and also “liberals” of India is being questioned on such media reports.
When there is already a huge uproar on social media against Chinese administration curbing the religion of Muslims in the country, some old media reports of similar acts by the government of China have surfaced again.
One of them was tweeted by Major Gaurav Arya in which he has highlighted an old report by The Express Tribune’s Pakistan division and urges Kashmiri separatists to read the same.
China makes Maulvis dance on Ramzan & forbids prayer. 2015 Pak article reveals all. Kashmiri separatists must read. https://t.co/FheSHanjKT
— Major Gaurav Arya (@majorgauravarya) July 12, 2017
The report that was published on April 18, 2015 states that the government of China suppresses religious freedom and forces imams from Xinjiang to dance on street. The report also claims that the imams were asked to swear to an oath that they will “not teach religion to children”.
A few important excerpts from the report read as follows:
The imams were also forced to tell children that prayer was harmful for the soul.
State Chinese news said the imams were gathering in a square in the name of civilization where they were forced to dance and chant out slogans in support of the state.
Female teachers were instructed to teach children to stay away from religious education and made to swear an oath that they will keep children away from religion.
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Last year, China banned Muslim students and government staff from observing fasts in the month of Ramadan, while encouraging locals to abstain from wearing veils.
The report that can be read here was widely shared on Twitter at the time it was published.
Here are some of the tweets from that time:
— Mariam Nadir (@MariamNadir) February 20, 2015
— Mahwish Rajput (@wishrajpoot) February 25, 2015
— Inst – maryann_live (@maryann_blog) February 16, 2015
In fact, before The Express Tribune published this story, a media house named Khaama Press, had reported the act of Chinese government on its website.
It is important to note that curbing Islam is not a new practice followed by the Chinese administration. Apart from the above report, there are several other articles, news and stories on the internet highlighting the same.
For instance, The Times of India, on July 13, 2017 published a report which stated that “increasingly strict curbs” on the Muslim Uyghur community in Xinjiang have “stifled life” of people of the community.
Another report published by Cambridge Community Television recently on July 10, 2017 revealed that this Ramzan as well, Muslims in Xinjiang region of China were stopped from fasting.
A media house named Voa News published an article on April 26 this year according to which, China had banned some Muslim names such as ‘Muhammad’ in Xinjiang.
The internet is flooded with many more such reports which state that China is and has been, since many years in the past, curbing religious practices of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.