On Saturday 5th January, China’s main English newspaper, Global Times, reported that the Chinese government passed a law to make Islam in line with socialism. The paper stated that government officials, “agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion” (adapt it to a more ‘Chinese’ way of practice) within the next 5 years. Earlier this month, authorities in China’s Yunnan province closed down 3 mosques established by the marginalized Hui Muslim ethnic minority.
These latest moves by the Chinese regime are a continuation of its brutal campaign to erase Islam from its Muslim population and force them to adopt its atheist beliefs through intimidation and fear. The regime has already outlawed in parts of its state – fasting, wearing of the Islamic dress, growing of a beard, and children under 18 from entering mosques to listen to Islamic sermons. The government has also prohibited parents from giving their new born babies certain Islamic names, and from providing their children an Islamic education or from participating in Islamic activities. This is alongside pressuring Uighur Muslims into marrying individuals from the non-Muslim Han Chinese population. In 2016, as part of its crackdown on Islam, the regime launched its “Becoming Family Campaign” – a system where officials or Han Chinese people temporarily move in with Muslim families in Xinjiang to surveil and report on signs that their hosts’ attachment to Islam maybe ‘extreme’ – including refusing alcohol, praying Jumma, fasting in Ramadan, or even having pictures with Islamic texts on their walls. In December 2017, Xinjiang authorities mobilized more than a million cadres to spend a week living in Muslim Uighur homes for this purpose. Other basic Islamic activities have also been labelled as extreme, such as choosing to eat Halal food and even giving the Islamic greeting of Salaams. Communist Party leaders in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang province, launched a campaign against Halal products, leading cadres to swear an oath to “fight a decisive battle” against what they termed, ‘pan-halalisation’. Indeed, the hatred of this regime towards Islam is such that it has even forced Muslims to abandon Islamic burials and accept instead the Chinese tradition of cremation which the state is rapidly expanding in the western Xinjiang province.
Alongside all this, more than 1 million Uighur Muslims are being detained indefinitely in internment camps in Xinjiang according to the UN, where they are forced to renounce their faith, drink alcohol and eat pork, as well as pledge allegiance to the atheist ruling Communist Party. Many of those incarcerated are tortured or even killed. Furthermore, at least 2 million Uighur Muslims are in “re-education camps” where they are subjected to forced political and cultural indoctrination to abandon their Deen, as well as criticize their Islamic beliefs and recite communist propaganda. According to the AFP, one government document related to those in the “re-education centres”, states that to build better Chinese citizens, the centres must first, “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections and break their origins.” The Chinese state also operates orphanages for Uighur children taken from parents who are incarcerated in the detention camps or who are in exile. In these orphanages, the children are educated in a manner to erase their Islamic identity and sever them from their Islamic Aqeeda. The aim of the regime is to convert future generations of Uighur Muslim children into its loyal subjects who embrace atheism, Han Chinese customs and Beijing’s vision of destroying the Uighur Muslim population and purging Islam from its shores.
Yet, despite this overt war against Islam being waged by the Chinese state, and its campaign of ethnic cleansing against its Muslim population, there has been a shameless but unsurprising silence from the regimes and rulers of the Muslim world. Indeed, even the Chinese government’s declaration of Islam as an “ideological mental illness” and a “virus in the brain”, was not enough to invoke a spark of genuine anger and response in these useless rulers of governments of Muslim lands who clearly care nothing for the sanctity of Islam or the lives of the Believers. These regimes and rulers in the Muslim lands are trigger-happy when it comes to slaughtering Muslims in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere…yet refuse to use an ounce of political, military or economic leverage for the sake of Islam and the Muslims. Pakistan’s government for example has deployed 15,000 troops to secure its China-Pakistan economic corridor and Chinese nationals working on infrastructure projects in the country; yet has not mobilized a single soldier to secure the honour of Islam and the Ummah! No doubt that China’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, that aims to facilitate world trade, including with Asia and the Middle East with Beijing, through the building of trade routes, which mainly pass through Xinjiang….will further buy the silence of these sell-out regimes towards the Chinese government’s crusade against Islam. So while the status quo remains, where there is no genuine Islamic leadership to stand for the sanctity of Islam and the Believers, China’s atheist drive against the Uighur Muslims will continue unabated; and they will continue to have a free hand to persecute them with impunity with no-one to stand in their way. So we ask those in the Muslim armies…..what is it that still ties you to these cowardly rulers who have sold their soul to the enemies of your Deen? How can you bear to live under their shadow and serve their treachery? Give your support with urgency to the establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) based on the method of the Prophethood which will raise your position to one of honour, champion your Deen and defend your Ummah!
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَشۡتَرُونَ بِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَيۡمَـٰنِہِمۡ ثَمَنً۬ا قَلِيلاً أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَا خَلَـٰقَ لَهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ وَلَا يُڪَلِّمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا يَنظُرُ إِلَيۡہِمۡ يَوۡمَٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ وَلَا يُزَڪِّيهِمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬
“As for those who sell the faith they owe to God and their own pledges for a trifling gain, surely they shall have no portion in the hereafter, and Allah will not speak to them, nor will He look upon them on the day of resurrection nor will He purify them, and they shall have a painful chastisement.”
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz
Director of the Women’s Section in The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir