Chinese Muslims forced to drop ‘religious’ names in western China.
The Muslims of China have always had a difficult life in their country. The communist government of China makes it difficult for any religious group to practice their faith openly and the Muslims have had their fair share of religious discrimination. In the month of Ramadan, these discriminations are highlighted by the actions of Chinese officials during the holy month.
The biggest of these prejudices comes in the form of the prevention of fasting by Chinese officials. The World Uyghur Congress, which represents a large portion of Chinese Muslims have claimed that the Chinese government has been putting measures up, such as the mandatory opening of restaurants, in an effort to dissuade Muslims from fasting during Ramadan.
If the government has indeed put up measures that prevent the practice of fasting, which is a fundamental part of Ramadan procedures; accusation’s of discrimination against the Muslim minority are not far gone.
Furthermore, in the Xinjiang region of China, children with overtly Muslim names are being forced to change their names, and names with overly religious sentiments are altogether banned for newborn children.
In the same province, authorities have begun confiscating Qurans and forcing attendance to Communist rallies; all in a blatant attempt to erase Muslim practices from the province. These actions being carried out in Xianjiang, which is known for its Muslim minority shows a pattern of deliberate discriminations aimed at forcing conversion of these Muslim minorities.
How the world needs to respond to suppression of Chinese Muslims
Besides the actual coverage of what happening to the Muslim minority in China, not enough is being done to curtail human rights offenses in the country. China has a notorious past with human rights defenders. The country has again and again been alleged with closing NGO’s in the country and assaulting human rights activists. The country has a long history of human rights abuses and the suppression of Muslim minorities is among the many cases of abuse the country has subjected to its population.
The country has again and again been alleged with closing NGO’s in the country and assaulting human rights activists. The country has a long history of human rights abuses and the suppression of Muslim minorities is among the many cases of abuse the country has subjected to its population.
Thankfully, one organization is doing its share to defend Muslim rights in the country —the Uyghur Human Rights Project. The project which was founded in 2004, “focuses on promoting human rights and democracy for Uyghurs and others living in East Turkestan”. The Uyghurs are an example of a Muslim minority in China that has faced continuing repression, and organizations such as this; that keep an eye on Chinese human rights abuses are the main deterrence of further abuses.
The world as a whole, however, needs to pay greater attention to the Muslim minority in China. Further diplomatic efforts need to be made to confront of China of these said discriminations. And although China does not have the greatest record when it comes to curtailing abuses with enough pressure from international organizations, the country will have no other choice but to rethink its treatment of the Muslim minority.
The suppression of Muslim identity and the discrimination of China’s Muslim population highlights a greater problem with the country’s domestic policies.
The authoritarian nature of China’s government continues to suppress and deny freedoms to those who subscribe to beliefs contrary to official party ideology. The world needs to do something about China’s freedom abuses and oppression of minority groups. The Muslims of China need to be recognized as one of China’s many human rights victims. They symbolize China’s many wrongdoings and indeed their survival is hinged to the actions the international world chooses to make—and let us hope the world does not lend a blind eye to them.