For Immediate Release
November 22, 2023
In its latest report published this week, Human Rights Watch documented clear evidence and facts that the Chinese authorities are closing, destroying and converting mosques in Muslim-majority provinces such as Ningxia and Gansu. According to the report, 1,300 mosques in Ningxia have been closed or converted since 2020, which accounts for one-third of the total number of mosques in the region. BBC said this has been carried out as part of China’s systematic and nationwide crackdown on Islam.
The Center for Uyghur Studies (CUS) also highlighted Islamophobia in China in its report published in April 2023, “Islamophobia in China and Attitudes of Muslim Countries”. The HRW report drew attention to this issue once again. As stated in the report, discrimination and hatred against Islam and Muslims in China have reached an alarming level in recent years. This also means that the war on Islam, which started in East Turkistan in 2017, has now expanded to the whole of China.
Despite the fact that Islamophobia in China has taken the form of official state policy, PRC’s mass crackdown on Uyghur Muslims since 2014 has been supported by Muslim-majority countries. Over the last several years, the Chinese regime has sent millions of Muslims to concentration camps and destroyed thousands of mosques in East Turkistan under the pretext of “re-education and de-extremification”. Sadly, the silence and attitude of the Islamic world have emboldened and even encouraged the Chinese regime to carry out such atrocities and violations against Uyghur Muslims.
Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris, said, “This new report by Human Rights Watch confirms our warning against Islamophobia in China for many years. We have been saying ‘China is not a friend of Islam and Muslims. Although it is deceiving the Muslims around the world and pretending to be an ally for Muslims, China is internally trying to destroy Islam and Muslims.’ Moreover, the expansion of China’s war on Islam into other Chinese provinces disproves China’s claim of extremism and terrorims against the Uyghur Muslims. It exposes China’s intention to have always been to eradicate Islam. As we have been saying, China never wanted to ‘re-educate’ or ‘provide employment’ to Uyghurs, its actual goal is to destroy their Islamic identity. Unfortunately, the world has ignored this. The Islamic world chose to stay silent and support China, instead of standing up against its islamophobic policies. Such policies have now expanded further.”
The CUS strongly denounces the PRC’s violations of religious freedom of the Muslims and destruction of mosques and religious facilities in East Turkistan and across China. Furthermore, the CUS calls on the OIC and governments of Muslim-majority countries to break their silence, condemn and stand up to China’s islamophobic policies.