The Muslim residents of north-west China’s Linxia region, nicknamed as ‘little Mecca’ have alleged that there is a deliberate effort to eradicate Islam, AFP has reported. People in Linxia are considered to be deeply Islamic in its beliefs.
The report quotes the locals as claiming that China’s communist party has banned kids below 16 from participating in religious activities or studies. Some of the already implemented measures in Linxia include “severely curtailing” the number of students allowed to study in mosques and the certification of Imams. The mosques have also been asked to stop playing the call to prayer on loudspeakers to reduce noise pollution.
The restrictions also extend to curtailing the study of Koranic basics in mosques during the kids’ school vacations. The clamp on the religious activities can be gauged by the fact that only 20 youths above the age of 16 are allowed to study in an Imam’s mosque.
One local Imam has even been seen ‘fearing’ that China is implementing the Xinjiang model. Under this model it has been alleged that the native Ughurs are being sent to re-education camps if they carry a Koran or sport a beard.
As per a Daily Mail report, out of a total 2.18 million residents in Linxia, 1.3 are believed to be Muslims, which translates to 59 per cent of the population. Most of these Muslims are believed to be of Hui ethnicity.
Incidentally reports of such ‘persecution’ of Chinese Muslims is nothing new. It was reported some time back how Muslims are allegedly being forced to give up their Islamic beliefs and align themselves with communism. These measures include forcing Muslim in “re-education camps” to eat pork and drink alcohol – both forbidden in Islam, if they don’t follow orders.
These “re-education” camps are supposedly an effort by the Chinese government to check Islamic extremism and separatism in the troubled Xinjiang province. It has been speculated that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been sent to such camps.
Besides this, the Chinese government has also decided to regulate Muslim institutions like making it compulsory for all the Mosques to hoist the national flag at a prominent place. The order which was given by the country’s highest Islamic regulatory body, aimed to strengthen the understanding of national, civic ideas and instil the spirit of patriotism among the Muslims.