Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeCHINA'S ATROCITIES AGAINST ITS MUSLIMSSo brutally China oppresses its Muslims

So brutally China oppresses its Muslims

So brutally China oppresses its Muslims

Starting in late 2017, Uyghur and Kazakh expatriates from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region began receiving distressing reports from their loved ones back home or losing contact with them altogether.

By early 2018, journalists and researchers began uncovering the disturbing truth: within the vast Central Asian territory, also referred to as Eastern Turkestan by many exiles, the Chinese government was detaining individuals who did not belong to the Han ethnic majority, including the Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group, and confining them to camps. At their peak, these facilities held between one and two million people, subjecting detainees to mental and physical abuse, sexual violence, forced medication, starvation, and sleep deprivation. Initially, Beijing denied the existence of these facilities, which Chinese government documents and signs referred to as “concentrated educational transformation centers.” They later acknowledged establishing “vocational training centers” to combat extremism and poverty.

These camps, bearing troubling resemblances to past genocides, elicited outrage from international organizations, human rights advocates, and governments, some of which imposed sanctions on Chinese companies and officials in response.

Over 100,000 internees were relocated to factories in Xinjiang or other parts of China. Some Uyghur families abroad reported that their relatives were back home but under house arrest. Beijing also compelled tens of thousands of rural Uyghurs to leave their villages and work in factories, under the guise of a poverty alleviation campaign. At present, the total number of non-Han Chinese individuals in coerced labor, in one form or another, might exceed the numbers interned in camps from 2017 to 2019.

However, the camps were just one facet of the Chinese Communist Party’s extensive program of assimilation and oppression.

The party has denigrated and restricted the use of the Uyghur language, banned Islamic practices, demolished mosques, shrines, and cemeteries, altered history to deny the distinctiveness and historical longevity of Uyghur culture in comparison to Chinese culture, and excluded indigenous literature from textbooks. The vaguely worded counterextremism and antiterrorism laws, implemented since 2014, continue to be used to detain individuals for everyday religious and cultural expressions. The extensive infrastructure of control that previously turned southern Xinjiang into a heavily patrolled region is now less visible. Instead, digital surveillance systems relying on mobile phones, facial recognition, biometric databases, QR codes, and other technologies have proven effective at monitoring and controlling the local population.

The state encourages, and possibly coerces, Uyghur women to marry Han men while promoting mixed marriages. Prior to the current crisis, Uyghurs rarely married non-Uyghurs. Uyghur children are placed in boarding schools, where they are compelled to use the Chinese language and adopt Han cultural practices. Limited information is available about these schools, but escapees have reported beatings and extended confinement for speaking Uyghur. These actions align with China’s broader colonial policy to Sinicize the region by relocating Han Chinese people to Xinjiang and suppressing Uyghur birth rates.

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