China, the emerging superpower of the world. Experts say soon China will replace the United States as a global power. From toys to smartphones, you will find the tag of Made in China everywhere. China has dramatically reduced the poverty of its citizen over the past three decades. According to the World Bank, more than 850 million Chinese people have been lifted out of extreme poverty; China’s poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015.
As you know there are always two sides to every story. now listen to the other side of the story. With 1.4 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country. It is a Secular country. Of its 1.4 billion people almost 75% are either atheists or believe in the Chinese Folk religion. For the Chinese government, it is subtle if you want to follow a religion, but if you practice that religion publicly that would be a problem. If one does so, he gets arrested and sent to a detention camp, where he is brainwashed to renounce his religion and put his belief in the ideology of the Chinese communist party.
A Muslim community called Uyghurs in the province of Xinjiang are facing Ch inese government oppression for years. People have been arrested and threatened to renounce Islam otherwise they will harm his family. More than one million Uyghurs have been interned in camps since 2017. Mosques have been demolished, Men are not allowed to grow a beard and are forced to drink beer and eat pork. Women are made sterile so that they no longer able to produce more Muslims. Uyghurs are also facing ethnic cleansing. Their only crime is to be a Muslim.
Who are Uighurs?
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of Chinese. Xinjiang borders the countries of Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Uighurs are Turkic speaking Sunni Muslims who live in Xinjiang. Prior to Islam Uighurs followed Buddhism. In the 10th century, Islam came to this region. The capital of this region Kashgar became one of the major learning centers of Islam. At that time many famous Islamic scholars emerged from this region. Yusuf Ma Dexin was one of them. After this Uyghurs were able to make their own independent empire. Islamic Uighurs kingdom of east Turkistan maintained its property until the invasion of the Manchu Empire in 1876. In 1911, Chinese nationalists overthrew the Manchu empire and the region came under their control.
In the early part of the 20th Century, Uighurs briefly declared independence, but the region was brought under the complete control of communist China in 1949. Xinjiang has currently designated an autonomous region within China, but in reality, the province has little autonomy from the Chinese state.
Why is China Persecuting Muslims in China?
Xinjiang is so important for China because it is rich in minerals and oils. Xinjiang accounts for 40% of China’s coal reserves and 20% of oil and gas reserves. The importance of this region advances in 2013 when Chin launched the belt and road initiative. A trillion-dollar investment to boost economic and political influence around the world. Most of these projects pass through Xinjiang making this region the most important corridor for the whole project. China desperately wants to control this region.
The Uighurs do not accept that Xinjiang is part of China, citing the evidence that Uighur people lived in the area before the Chinese Han and Tang dynasties. Chinese Communist Party knew that it won’t be possible for them to control Xinjiang if the region continues to be an Islamic majority. China started the ethnic cleansing of Uighurs Muslims. Thus promoted a massive state-sponsored migration of Han Chinese from the 1950s to the 1970s. Han Chinese make up 90% of the total population of China. By 2008 the Han Chinese population increase by 30% in the province of Xinjiang. Uighur Muslims were limited only to low salary agriculture jobs, while the Hans had seized all the high salary jobs. These actions sore tensions between Hans and the Uighurs. In 2009, Uighurs protested against this discrimination. Bloody Riots broke out pitting ethnic Uighurs against dominant Hans Chinese. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands injured during the protests. After that, the Chinese communist party started to crack down on the Uighurs.
Uighurs were perceived as separatists and extremists threat.
DE extremefication policies:
In 2016 China used de extremification policies to deal with Uighurs Muslims. President Xi Jinping appointed Cheng Quangou as party secretary of the province. This was a calculated move to suppress Uighurs. Beards and scarves have been banned. Images of Xi Jinping have been placed in mosques and prayer mats. Many mosques have been demolished. Security cameras have been installed all over the Xinjiang. Several checkpoints are made where Uighurs Mobile phones are checked. Every online activity is tracked. Muslim names are banned for newborns. If a copy of the Quran is found in your house then your family can disappear. Between 2016 to 2017 china’s defense budget in Xinjiang tripled. Muslims were forced to eat pork, and women were made sterile to decrease the Uighurs population in Xinjiang. All of this still happening to Uighurs Muslims. This was not all, the worst part of the crackdown is Internment camps.
What is happening in the China detention camps?
The Chinese government has been denying the presence of detention camps in Xinjiang until satellite images revealed them. A video was released of shaved head blindfolded people transported to one of the detention camps in Xinjiang. After China was exposed in the international court of Justice bu Journalists, its government took a different approach and called these buildings re-education camps for terrorists. In the camps, people go through intense brainwashing until the only identity they had left with is the Communist Party of China. The government put Uighurs in detention camps without any reason. You just get stolen at night and your children wake up the other day realizing mommy and daddy have been taken away for a few years. They will brainwash you in such a way that you started to believe that you were a terrorist and then strip you down from any faith. They are forced to memorize the communist party agenda every day and forced to criticize their own Islam belief. Kids of those who are in internment have been taken care of by the government. They are placed in the child version of detention camps.
These camps are still there and expanding. China wants to make sure that they have full control over Xinjiang. They don’t care about Humans life, all they want is to increase their global trade and replace the United States as the new superpower.