• Washington DC
Follow Us:

Rising Islamophobia in China: Time to Take a Stand

CUS Press Release

For Immediate Release

May 29, 2023



There have been reports of clashes between Hui Muslims and Chinese police on May 27, 2023, after the Chinese authorities tried to demolish the Najiaying Mosque in Tonghai County, Yunnan Province. The Chinese regime mobilized its police and military forces to suppress and detain the Muslims who resisted the demolition of their mosque. The Najiaying Mosque is a historic mosque that was built during the Ming Dynasty. Local authorities included the mosque in its list of demolition in 2020,  alleging the masque had “illegally occupied lands”.

The Islamophobic sentiment against Islam and Muslims that rose in recent years in China has developed to an alarming rate nowadays. The Chinese regime, which has been posing as a “friend” to the Islamic World, has been implementing policies that violate the rights and religious freedom of Muslims, especially in East Turkistan. The incident in Yunnan is just one of the examples of China’s war on Islam. Today, China is the only country in the world that demolishes mosques and interns millions of Muslims into concentration camps.

Islamophobia in China is enabled and supported by the state. The genocidal and repressive policies of the Chinese regime in East Turkistan are the most extreme embodiment of China’s state-sanctioned Islamophobia. Since 2014, the Chinese regime has locked up millions of Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims into concentration camps under the guise of “re-education and de-extremification” measures; destroyed thousands of mosques in East Turkistan; claimed Islam is a “mental illness” and that Uyghur Muslims have been infected by this “illness”, and thus should be “cured” by eradicating the religion from their lives.

However, it is unfortunate that the Islamophobia in China did not draw the attention of the world, especially the Islamic World. By contrast, any Islamophobic incident in the West like the burning of the Quran, quickly draws condemnation from the Islamic World. But, if something similar or worse happens in China, no Muslim-majority country comes out to denounce it.

Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris said, “Many Muslims think Islamophobia is confined to the West. China never comes to their mind when Islamophobia is discussed. In fact, China is the most islamophobic country in the world today. The critical difference between Islamophobia in China and the rest of the world is that Islamophobia in China is deeply rooted in both the state system and societal traditions. Unfortunately, the Islamic World has so far failed to speak out against Islamophobia in China. The Muslim-majority countries that strongly condemn Islamophobic incidents in Western countries, stayed silent or even supported China’s war on Islam. As Islamophobia continues to rise in China, the Islamic World must stand up against it.”

The Center for Uyghur Studies firmly opposes and condemns China’s violations of the democratic and human rights and religious freedoms of Muslims and all other faith communities. Moreover, we call on the Islamic World, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Islamic NGOs to denounce China’s Islamophobic policies and violations of religious freedom.

Post navigation

Copyright Center for Uyghur Studies - All Rights Reserved