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The world must not ignore the Islamophobia in China

CUS Press Release

For Immediate Release

Mar 15, 2023



On March 15, 2019, a white supremacist attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and shot Muslims attending Jumaa prayer. 51 people were killed and 41 were injured. To commemorate this massacre and bring attention to the increasing phenomenon of Islamophobia, the United Nations proclaimed March 15 as the “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”.

Today, the Muslims make up 24% of the world’s population. Islamophobia is a fear, prejudice and hatred of Islam and Muslims. Muslims have faced massacres and genocides many times in history. Today, the genocide against Uyghur and Rohingya Muslims are still ongoing.

Islamophobia in China has long historical and cultural roots. On one hand, it is largely due to the xenophobic inclination in Chinese culture, and the Chinese state’s prejudice and hatred against Muslims on the other hand. The People’s Republic of China was founded on the basis of socialism and made atheism its state ideology since its establishment in 1949. Therefore, discrimination and hatred toward all religions is a systematic practice of the Chinese state. The Chinese Communist Party is always anxious about religion.

Due to the rise of ultra-nationalism in China in recent years, discrimination and xenophobia against foreign cultures and foreigners started increasing. As a result, all religions that are deemed foreign to Chinese culture including Islam and Christianity started facing repression and discrimination more than ever. Islamophobia in China has now reached its peak. China is the most Islamophobic country in the world today.

The most obvious form of Islamophobia in China can be seen on China’s war on Islam and the Uyghur Genocide. Since 2017, the Chinese authorities have criminalized all Islamic practices and traditions in East Turkistan, and used them as pretexts to send the Uyghur Muslims to concentration camps. During the last several years, the Chinese authorities demolished thousands of mosques under the guise of “sinicization”; forced Muslims to “sinicize” their customs and traditions; even attempted to eliminate Islamic elements in Uyghur architecture. Today, the Muslims in East Turkistan cannot even say the greeting of peace “Assalamu Alaikum”. 

In contrast to Islamophobia in the West, the systemic Islamophobia practiced by the state in China couldn’t draw the attention of the Islamic World. The Muslim-majority countries that protest every Islamophobic act in the West, stayed silent on China’s war on Islam and the Uyghur Genocide, and even worse, publicly supported the Chinese regime.

Executive Director Abdulhakim Idris said, “The Chinese regime’s deeply anti-Islam views played a big role in Uyghur Genocide, which is one of stark examples of Islamophobia. It is based on Han nationalism, which is widespread on Chinese social media to promote the CCP’s  policies of Sinicization, racism & portraying Islam as a threat to China. It is crucial for the Muslims to see this toxic ideology of the Chinese regime and condemn its war on our faith”.

On this International Day to Combat Islamophobia, we call on the Islamic World and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to not use a double standard on Islamophobia and speak out against China’s war on Islam and Uyghur Genocide.

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