As Muslims worldwide prepare to begin the holy month of Ramzan, Uyghur Muslims are facing fasting bans and arrests for following their cultural and religious traditions. The Chinese government has implemented a harsh monitoring system in place.
Reportedly, Uyghurs in the northwestern region of Xinjiang are being ordered not to allow their children to fast, with the latter being quizzed by the authorities as to whether their parents are fasting, local officials and rights groups said, RFA reported.
“During Ramzan, the authorities are requiring 1,811 villages to implement a round-the-clock monitoring system, including spot home inspections of Uyghur families,” World Uyghur Congress spokesperson Dilshat Rishit said, RFA reported.
China’s 11.4 million Hui Muslims, a close-knit community of ethnic Chinese who have maintained their Muslim faith over centuries – are in danger of being erased entirely under the Communist Party’s draconian religious rules, rights groups have warned in a new report.
Hui rights activist Ma Ju said many people don’t even know his community exists. He also stated that the current genocide being perpetrated on the Uyghur people has already happened once before to the Hui, following the Communist Party’s religious reforms of 1958.
Beijing has identified them as “a threat to be resolved through forcible assimilation,” a report from a coalition of rights groups, including the Chinese Human Rights Defenders network said. This is in stark contrast to the relative freedom they enjoyed before President Xi Jinping launched a renewed attack on religious worship, forcing Christians, Muslims and Buddhists alike to submit to party control and censorship of their religious lives under his “sinicisation”, the report said.
China has also targeted Muslim communities with its “ethnic unity” campaign under which officials impose Han Chinese “relatives” on ethnic minority Uyghur families, who then put pressure on them to observe non-Muslim traditions, including drinking alcohol and eating pork.
“Unity” policies have taken place in Xinjiang against the backdrop of the mass incarceration of at least 1.8 million Uyghurs and other ethnic minority Muslims in “re-education” camps. Their involvement in forced labour, as well as amid reports of the systemic sexual exploitation, and forced sterilisation of Uyghur women in the camps, RFA reported.
Even though China is under the radar of attempting to eradicate the ethnic community, no one is taking any stringent action against it. Although the US president Biden has displayed his solidarity towards the Uighur Muslim community in his latest statements, “Today especially, we remember the universal human right to practice, pray, and preach our faiths peacefully and openly.”
He further added, “The United States stands in solidarity with Muslims who continue to face oppression – including Uyghurs in the People’s Republic of China, Rohingya in Burma, and other Muslim communities facing persecution around the world,” he said. These are just empty consolations given to the community. Shadowboxing around the issue.
Meanwhile, Serikjan Bilash, who founded the Kazakhstan-based rights group Atajurt, said authorities in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture have carried out “mass detentions” of religious figures in the region during the past few days.
“Most of these people have already served heavy sentences,” he said. “This year, the targets for arrest by the Chinese Communist Party are people who have already spent two to three years in a concentration camp in Xinjiang.”
“Sources [told Atajurt] that they are being sent to other provinces of China, or to secret prisons in Xinjiang,” he said. The religious traditions are severely coming under attack. They are being controlled and surveilled.
It has been noted by a report published by Uyghur Human rights project that the CCP is also employing tactics where it is coercing and incentivising interethnic weddings between Uyghur Muslims and Han Chinese ethnic groups. Analysts have perceived this move as the Chinese government wanting to quash the identity of the religious minority groups completely.