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China Razing Mosques in a bid to Create Autocratic State

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Zareen Afridi
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In a recent report, it has been found that China has razed off countless mosques in the Xinjiang region over the past few years. There have been satellite images that capture the destruction and damage caused in the Muslim-dominated area. The research has been carried out by an Australian think tank and this amplifies the abuse and threat that is already been rained on Chinese Muslims. 

The research explicitly explains that the Chinese government is adamant on destroying the complete cultural fabric of Muslims in China, mainly Turkic Muslims who have lived in the area dating as far as 900 BCE. The report findings state the state destroyed close to 16,000 mosques in a span of the last three years. Out of these, 8,500 have been completely demolished with no traces left behind. The areas that have seen the maximum brunt are Kashgar and Urumqi. The mosques that resisted demolition got their minarets and domes removed. All this has been captured in the satellite images which of course, the Chinese Government’s Spokesperson claims to deny.

The spokesperson when contacted says that there is an ample number of mosques in the country, often which are more than in any Muslim governed country as well. He further says that there is ‘complete freedom to practice one’s religion’ and that it encourages all faith.

True, the scale of destruction has been observed in cases of mosques only. No Buddhist or Christian churches have reported any demolition or danger of any kind. It clearly outlines Muslims and that their hate for the minority group is visible by their destruction of holy shrines which not only hold religious but cultural importance as well. 

The research carried out by ASPI also states that over a third of all heritage mosques, shrines and cemeteries have been completely razed. All that remains in that place are bricks and broken tombs that signify the death of a mosque in that area. This comes as an outcry after the already functioning detention camps in Xinjiang had found to be increased in number and capacity.

China still insists on defending that the concentration camps are ‘re-education centres’. The Muslims are forcibly tortured and are made to renounce their faith by consuming pork, wine and abstain from fasting which is considered impermissible in Islam. Men are made to cut off their beards and women are forcibly made to remove their veils and headscarves which is a step to create a modern society. Chinese interference with a person or community’s faith has led to an outcry where the plight of Muslims in Xinjiang province has received attention from all parts of the world. The plight of concentration camps is gruesome beyond measure where the re-education emphasis on considering the head of the state as the ultimate superior. Any practising Muslims observing their natural duties of prayer, fasting and reading of Qura’an are seen as a threat and severe action is taken against them. This is a direct violation of a person’s right to practice their religion without any objection or policing. 

The UN and many other bodies have been receiving complaints from many Muslim and non-muslim countries regarding China’s atrocities to its minority group. It is in the time to come what fate China sees on a global platform regarding its civil and governing rights. 

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