A recent report by the BBC has documented the plight of Muslims in China. The report highlights the inhuman conditions the Muslims are kept in secret detention camps. Those who have incarecerated have been denied any sort of rights. The purpose of this detention, China claims, is to combat extremism and to ‘Sinicize’ the Muslim population.
चीन के वो गुप्त 'क़ैदखाने' जहां बंद हैं लाखों मुसलमान. बीबीसी की टीम यहां तक पहुंची pic.twitter.com/DrpYiskfIc
— BBC News Hindi (@BBCHindi) June 19, 2019
Earlier shocking reports had emerged on how the authorities in China’s far western province of Xinjiang are carrying out a massive political re-education campaign that requires Muslim detainees to swear allegiance to the Communist Party and foreswearing a Muslim faith that they are told to repeat is “stupid.” This massive campaign treats Islam as a mental disease. According to the UN and US officials, around a million Muslims are held up right now in Chinese internment camps. Former detainees- mostly Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic minority, have stated that they were subjected to an indoctrination process that lasted for several months. During this, they were forced to renounce Islam, criticise Islamic beliefs and sing Communist propaganda songs for several hours. They were also force-fed alcohol and pork- which are forbidden among the Muslims.
Those detained are accused of “incorrect thinking” and the authorities claim that they are carrying out this campaign in order to expunge the public health crisis created by “radical tendencies”. The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China has described this Chinese campaign as “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.” Earlier, it were the Uighur extremists who were targeted by the authorities but now even harmless manifestations of Mulsim identity are not tolerated. And even growing a beard, for example, can be a ground for sending an Uighur to internment camp. A senior Chinese official had spilled the beans while talking to a UN panel about the internment camps when he stated that there are, “no such things as reeducation centers.” Even though, the government documents refer to them as re-education centres, in reality, they are just vocational schools for criminals. Therefore, China has not only started looking at Islam as a mental disorder but it is also being criminalised.
An excerpt from an official Communist Party audio recording, which was transmitted last year to Uighurs was transcribed by Radio Free Asia. It stated, “Members of the public who have been chosen for reeducation have been infected by an ideological illness. They have been infected with religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology, and therefore they must seek treatment from a hospital as an inpatient. … The religious extremist ideology is a type of poisonous medicine, which confuses the mind of the people. … If we do not eradicate religious extremism at its roots, the violent terrorist incidents will grow and spread all over like an incurable malignant tumor.” What the authorities are doing in the garb of reeducation camps is a mass procedure among the entire Uighur population aimed at ‘curing’ the entire population and rid them of Islamic beliefs.
China fears that an extremist and separatist movement will plague the far western province, Xinjiang on account of extremist elements within the Uighurs. In 2009, massive ethnic riots in the far western province had resulted in hundreds of deaths. After that some Uighur radicals had reportedly carried out terror strikes. In background of such blatant mistreatment of Muslims in China, it is flummoxing how Pakistan is unable to gauge the ominous signs of what will happen to it when China takes over it.
Today, Pakistan, an Islamic country is worshiping China for its financial aid. But it does not realise that China intends to make Pakistan its colony. In the garb of financial aid, China is crippling Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity. Given whatever is happening in the far western province of China, it is very much possible that when China fully takes over our terrorist run neighbour, similar treatment is meted out to massive swaths of population in form of re-education camps in order to rid them of extremism.