On May 15 of 2018 the online edition of Arhar published an article stating that the Chinese government is obstructing the Muslims’ faith through the introduction of a mandatory dinner in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. In addition, they allegedly add pork to the food and force to drink alcohol, which is considered as a sin, and for disobedience muslims are sent to educational camps. The material was also published by several other media outlets.
The source of the information is the USCIRF (the US Commission on International Religious Freedom).
VERDICT: NO VERDICT
The facts of violence against Chinese Muslims are outlined in the media and by human rights activists, however, in a completely different context. It is about “educational camps”, from which reports of torture are received.
This, of course, is not the best news, but, nevertheless, there are no details of any obligatory dinners and restrictions on the Muslims of China in Ramadan.
In the context of the original news, there is no mention of such details as alcohol and pork, but it is said that the government detains a large number of Uighurs and places them in “re-educational” camps without trial. the Chinese government has instituted a multifaceted security grid throughout Xinjiang comprised of both personnel and advanced technology, including armed checkpoints, facial and iris recognition software, and cell phone monitoring. Moreover, since the end of last year the Chinese government seeks to stymie the growth of the next generation of Uighur Muslims by banning Uighur language instruction in schools, prohibiting children from attending mosque, and proscribing Islamic baby names considered “extreme.” USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark comments on these events as follows:’
“The Chinese government’s restrictions on Uighur Muslims are an attempt to assimilate a besieged religious and ethnic minority.
The primary sources of information in the Western media, namely the Washington Post, the Independent, the New York Times, confirm that the Chinese authorities send Xinjiang residents, recognized as extremists, to “re-education” camps. According to some reports, human rights are violated in these camps: Muslims are forced to drink alcohol and eat pork, sing the national anthem in the mornings, learn Chinese, history and songs, such as “Without the Communist Party there will be no new China.” Most of these media are based on the comments of Omir Bekali, a former inmate of an “re-educational” camp.
“The psychological pressure is enormous, when you have to criticize yourself, denounce your thinking — your own ethnic group,” said Bekali, who broke down in tears as he described the camp. “I still think about it every night, until the sun rises. I can’t sleep. The thoughts are with me all the time.” (Bekali).
Officially, China does not recognize the existence of such camps, despite many evidences.