China: The problem of growing anti-muslim sentiment | DW News

China: The problem of growing anti-muslim sentiment | DW News

it’s not unusual for an ron to get
offended when he logs into China’s social networks the writer is keenly
aware of the growing Islamophobia wave spreading through the country including
a so-called anti halal movement who supporters accuse Muslims of dividing
the country they’re calling on Airlines and universities to stop serving halal
food dishes prepared according to Muslim law
China’s internet censors have nothing against these kinds of messages for sure
the goal of this movement is to clamp down on Muslims and to limit their
rights as part of a minority for sure walkins yet none of the members of the
anti halal movement we contacted were willing to speak on camera but one who
calls himself the association of pork eaters agreed to answer a few questions
in an online chat he said Islam in China is on the rise and that Chinese majority
culture is under threat but he wouldn’t provide examples to back his claim Muslims make up less than 2% of China’s
population an R on whose real name is sweet house in belongs to the who a
minority a mandarin speaking group of Muslims whose mosques are often built in
typical Chinese style for centuries on Ron’s birthplace jinan in eastern China
has been the home of a substantial Muslim community the government strict rules controlling
religious practice are apparent in the mosques quartet the head of this
congregation says he supports state policy
the religion should serve society first and foremost it should be managed in
harmony with our social system that’s the right way even though daily life in Jena Anne’s
Muslim Quarter looks like business as usual state back pressure on Chinese
Muslims is mounting a new five-year plan calls for stiffer control over mosques
in a few provinces some of them have been closed and restaurants were forced
to remove any signs an erratic script the government points to the police
state in the western region of Xinjiang as a perfect example of religious
control but in reality that’s where hundreds of thousands of ethnic Muslim
Uighur are being detained in reeducation camps according to human rights groups our camera team was stopped by God’s
when we approached one of them and we were head-on Ron is one of few Chinese
intellectuals who have openly criticized the state’s persecution of the weekers
this has led to police questioning him for two days he says he is afraid but
refuses to remain silent once you speak the truth and the Communist Party takes
offense at you they will certainly take their revenge at some point if shutting
up will not protect you then wala young man ha – each year on Iran fears the
worst for Chinese Muslims may be yet to come let’s get some analysis on that
story now with a China analyst Mariko Oberg from the think-tank Marek’s here
in Berlin Mariah thank you very much for joining us first of all let’s talk about
the increasing Islamophobia that we saw in that report from our correspondent do
you think it’s safe to say that Muslims have something to fear in China I would
love to say on the one hand yes and on the other hand no but I think at this
point it is safe to say that an increasing number of Muslims are seeing
their lives disrupted in China I mean on the one hand you have you have the
societal initiatives that the report talked about but the more important
thing that really is the overall climate that’s being created by the CCP by the
Communist Party of China itself with its own initiatives it had its own anti
halal movement where it encouraged officials not to eat in halal
restaurants it’s coming out with a plan for synthesizing Islam which it does for
other religions as well and last but not least there’s the big elephant in the
room which is the mass internment of recurs and other minorities in so-called
reeducation camps I want to ask you about those camps in a moment but first
how do you think attitudes towards Muslims have changed under President Xi
Jinping I mean they have always been certain tensions both at the popular
level and also the government has never quite said that you know it’s fine
to fully embrace your religion and you don’t have to
you don’t have to this is all you you can do but it’s it’s gotten a little
more extreme under C Jinping to wanna rein in religion and to want to make
sure that they’re not in conflict with the governing ideology leading up to a
million Muslim bleeker’s being uh interned in camps as we said what do you
think Beijing is actually hoping to achieve with this method
I mean officially representing this as like deep radicalization in some cases
might even frame it as part of the anti-terror campaign the the thing
that’s happening here is basically what the CCP is trying to do is eradicate any
kind of belief system that could be in conflict to its own ideology so this is
targeting something that they feel is threatening their their their grip on
power and that’s why they’re they’ve been doing this so so radically isn’t it
fair to say from the Chinese government’s perspective that they do
want to tackle extremism there has been violence linked to extremist separatist
groups in the past there has been and I think to some extent there is that
problem but I mean the way that the reports coming from those camps is
something and even if you just look at Chinese media itself something that
could be considered radical just like having a beard wearing a veil refusing
to drink alcohol refusing to eat pork so if that’s your definition of radical
then that clearly goes beyond just fighting terrorism this is a serious
issue we’re talking about Islamophobia growing in China why do you think
there’s been so little response from Western countries for example it’s very
hard to say and I don’t really want to speculate I think there is a mixture of
reasons one as their countries are busy with other issues the other thing is
kinda has been really good at defusing and preventing criticism of its own
human rights records in recent years has gotten a lot better at that so it’s it’s
really a mixture of things countries not wanting to offend China perhaps also
maybe not enough people standing up to to demand countries to step up so what
would be the rest response from the West pointed out criticized a demain
and that independent observers present–and there are a number of range
of issues that that could be done sanction those officials that are
involved in this possibly sanctioning companies that are known to be involved
in setting up the security apparatus and since young there are a number of a
range of responses that could be considered and should be pursued
seriously all right taking a tougher line there then on China Morocco ullberg
from the think tank Marik’s here in Berlin thank you so much for joining us
thanks for having me you


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