There is a noticeable upsurge in the focus on repression of the Muslim (Uighurs) in the autonomous oil-and-mineral rich Xinjiang. India, Turkey, the USA and Britain are at the forefront to highlight `human rights violations’ in China. For instance, the Statesman dated January 10, 2019 published` the screws have been turned on the Uighurs whose predicament assumed a new dimension in the cocktail punch of socialism, state policy, and Islam’. It is eerie why Hindutva, cow-or-beef-related lynching of the Muslim does not catch the eye of the international media.

Media outcry is due to the apparent upshot of a poor understanding of the situation. The Islamic Association of China (encouraged by XI Jinping) has introduced flag-raising and political instruction in mosques. Turkic origin Uighurs resist the `innovation’, but the Hui Muslims tolerate it. But party officials from Ningxia, a region with a predominantly Hui population, visited prisons in Xinjiang in November and signed a “counter-terrorism co-operation” agreement with the region’s authorities. The Uighurs regard the `innovation’ as “sinification” intended to separate Chinese Islam from global Islam. What Beijing describes as “vocational educational centres” is viewed as “detention” of the Uighurs and has been condemned by some international organisations, including the United Nations, and several human-rights groups. Over a million government officials in Xinjiang stayed overnight in Uighur homes as guests. The hostile media termed them government spies prying to catch extremists for internment.

The Chinese diaspora in the USA is vociferous about Uighur `persecution’. They allege China seized their family members back at home to gag their protests in the USA. Besides, it bulldozed mosques and religious sites, banned parents from giving Muslim names to children, and forced Muslim men to shave their beards’. China even outlawed `fasting during Ramadan and Eid prayers’ and Islamic-style burial and funeral to enforce crematorium. The Chinese embassy vehemently denies the allegations as also rumours about human trafficking and organ trading by Chinese in Pakistan. Islamic Association of China extols freedom movement in China while the World Uighur Congress (Dilxat Raxid) pillories it.

Let the media take a balanced view.


Rawalpindi, May 11.