Beijing: China’s genocidal policy against Uyghurs, an ethnic Turkish group that inhabits Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, has reached a new phase as the Wumao army or the “50 Cent Army” insults Islam and unleashes ‘blasphemy’ on the Prophet, Theodoros Benakis writes in European Interest. In the social media space, the Wumao army, which is a group of state-backed internet commentators, is often seen hurting the Uyghur religious sentiments. Social media often described Muslims as extremists and terrorists, even though PRC nurtures close relationships with conservative Muslim states such as Pakistan, Indonesia, or the Arab Peninsula.
The most criticised propaganda in western media, Islamophobia, is now being used by China to discriminate against and isolate Muslims and increase the support of the Chinese population for policies implemented in Xinjiang. Through posts on social media, the Wumao Army insults Islam and unleashes blasphemy on the Prophet, according to the author. The uncontrolled trolling and detraction of Islam have crossed all limits, and this group of users made certain remarks that if made in any other part of the world, would have raised public outrage.
The Weibo Army assists the government in Xinjiang by spreading hate speech against Muslims, insulting Islam, and justifying Bejing’s discrimination. Earlier, in 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo attack, one user clearly stated that “Religion, has nothing to do with ethnicity. Our country’s religious policy and ethnic policy are 108,000 miles apart. No one stipulates that a certain ethnic group must believe in a certain religion. “Recently, Muslims in China disclosed that Islamophobia is used as an accidental practice in Xinjiang and the mainland to strengthen the new Chinese cultural policy of Xi Jinping. Meanwhile, China’s Twitter space, Weibo is used by Chinese citizens to justify renouncing Islam, European Interest reported. Many Chinese citizens have expressed their full support for the new cultural policy and agreed to wipe out the Uyghur Muslims from Xinjiang. China-based Muslims have done month-long research on this new cyber social practice and found that the users who introduced Islamophobia in most discussions are operating as Wumao 50 Cent Army. This group reads Quran and Hadees and interprets them in a derogatory way. Such content is then posted on Weibo along with misinterpreted references to create a psychological acceptance of Islam as a negative religion. The Chinese Communist Party wanted their country to be the homeland of only the Han population. After securing a third term, Chinese leader Xi Jinping is using every means to achieve his simple and gloomy goal, “a unified China inhabited by a unified people.”
In September 2020, the Chinese President reaffirmed his commitment to Beijing policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region at a two-day party conference. “Practice has proven that the party’s strategy for governing Xinjiang in the new era is completely correct,” said Xi. Earlier, in 2018, at the gate of the school in Turpan, an Uyghur-majority city in Xinjiang, a Chinese board was seen which reads, “[You are] entering the school grounds. Please speak Guoyu [“the national language”, that is Mandarin Chinese].”
A policy of “cultural genocide” is underway, reported European Interest. The Uyghurs live under a quasi-total discriminatory environment that includes religious restrictions, economic exclusion, imprisonment, and absolute prohibition of any reaction. In some cases, the punishment is a death sentence. As regards religion, the regime imposes dress codes that prohibit women from wearing a veil and men from growing beards. Students at universities and workers in factories are also not allowed to fast during Ramadan. Mosques are systematically demolished. Even a state-approved version of the Quran is the only one allowed. Uyghur families are the target of a brutal programme that separates children from their mothers and sends them to state institutions or to live with Chinese families, as per the European Interest report. (With inputs from ANI)