Muslim minorities ordered to destroy Islamic crescents on graves

A Kazakh herder’s home in Yili, Xinjiang.
The red banners are a “couplet” decoration
for Chinese New Year, which the owner was
ordered to put up. (Photo: ChinaAid)


(Yili, Xinjiang—Feb. 25, 2018) In a continuing wave of persecution against Muslim minorities in China’s western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, members of the Uyghur and Kazakh minorities are being ordered to destroy any graves which bear the symbol of the Islamic star and crescent.

The Uyghurs and Kazakhs are two of China’s 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, both predominantly Muslim. The star and crescent symbol is often used on the graves of Muslims, in much the same way that Christian Protestants and Catholics use the symbol of the cross.

Uyghur citizens in a
“political training center,”
where they are being forced
to sing “There is No New
China Without the
Communist Party.”
(Photo: ChinaAid)

On Feb. 17, authorities in Habahe county of Yili prefecture issued orders to all officers that Kazakh people in the area needed to destroy the star and crescent symbol on grave sites, otherwise, the graves would be forcibly demolished.

This order comes in the midst of a widespread crackdown on Uyghurs and Kazakhs throughout the Xinjiang region. The Communist Party has established “political training centers” where citizens are held for months without contact with their families or the outside world and are subjected to “re-education” using Communist propaganda.

A villager in Fuhai county said that those taken away are mostly those who have visited Kazakhstan or Turkey in the past, have a green card in Kazakhstan, or have a criminal record. Because of this, the villager said, “this ‘political training center’ is actually a prison.”

Additionally, many Uyghurs and Kazakhs were forced to participate in Chinese New Year celebrations and break halal to eat dumplings. Authorities threatened to send any who asked about ingredients in the dumplings or refused eat them to the training centers as well.

ChinaAid reports on persecution against religious adherents in China, such as the Uyghur and Kazakh citizens in Xinjiang, in order to promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law in opposition to the abuses of the Chinese Communist Party.

ChinaAid Media Team
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