The attack on Uyghur culture in China continues as China has now reportedly built a public toilet on the site where a Mosque once stood in Suntagh village, Atush (in Chinese, Atushi) city in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), northwest China, as per a report in Radio Free Asia. In the past few years, China has been hell-bent on breaking the spirit of Uyghur Muslims.
This is an attempt by the Chinese to break the spirit of the freedom loving Uighur people. They first razed a mosque to the ground and then built a toilet on that very site. How low will the Chinese Government fall? Despicable. Shameful. Horrifying. https://t.co/rpvdtPyeFd— Major Gaurav Arya (Retd) (@majorgauravarya) August 17, 2020
As per reports, in 2016, directives were issued to destroy Muslim places of worship. The destruction of the Tokul mosque along with a few other mosques in the area was part of the drive. Now the reports have emerged that the local authorities have erected a restroom on the site.
Xi Jinping’s “mosque rectification” drive is a small part of policies against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China. In an interview conducted by Radio Free Asia, Uyghur neighbourhood committee chief from Suntagh village in Atush said the mosque was torn down in 2018. The “Han comrades” have now constructed a toilet in the place. “It’s a public toilet … they haven’t opened it yet, but it’s built,” he added.
When he was asked if there was any need of a public toilet in the location, he said, “People have toilets at home, so there weren’t any problems like that.” Suntagh is located around 3 KM outside central Astush, and hardly any tourists visit the place. He said that there was no reason a public toilet had to be built here. According to the chief, the toilet was constructed to cover the ruins of the Tokul mosque.
RFA talked to one other resident of the village who told them that Azna mosque, another mosque in the area, was converted into a convenience store. It sells alcohol and cigarettes, which is considered against the religion in Islam. Only Teres Mosque currently stands in the area in poor condition.
China’s oppression of Uyghur Muslims
China has been accused of committing grave human rights violations against the Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang province. Thousands of Uyghurs have been held in ‘re-education’ camps, while the CCP imposes restrictions on prayers, festivals and traditional rituals. Chinese oppression of Uyghur Muslims has been known for a long time. Earlier the Chinese police had imposed a dress code for Uyghur women, under which the Muslim women are not allowed to wear long dresses.
Nearly 10 percent of the Uyghur population is estimated to be in these re-education camps and in some cases, half of the entire village, townships are in these concentration camps.