Friday 7 July 2023

Chinese regime ridiculed over its denunciation of 'Islamophobia' as the world has not yet forgotten its Uyghur persecution

 A spokesman for the communist regime in Beijing spoke out Tuesday against the recent Quran-burning demonstration in Sweden, suggesting China harbored no such "Islamophobia."

This claim has raised eyebrows on account of China's well-documented persecution of the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, its institutionalized antipathy for Islam, and its systematic brutalization of religious minorities of all Abrahamic faiths. 

What's the background?

A 37-year-old Iraqi Christian, Salwan Momika, obtained permission from a Swedish court to exercise his free speech rights and burn pages torn from the Quran, reported DW.

The court said, "The security risks and consequences that the authorities can see connected to a Quran burning are not of such a nature that according to the current law they give grounds for a decision to reject a request for a general gathering."

Hundreds of supporters and counter-protesters gathered to watch the burning take place outside a Stockholm mosque June 28 during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. One radical was detained for reportedly attempting to stone Momika. 

Morocco, which the U.S. State Department notes is a 99% Sunni Muslim state that prohibits the criticism of Islam, withdrew its ambassador to the Nordic country as a result.

The Associated Press reported that Pakistan's prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, demanded a daylong protest. 

Turkish former minister Hakan Fidan condemned the act, stating, "It is unacceptable to allow these anti-Islamic actions under the pretext of freedom of expression. To turn a blind eye to such heinous acts is to be complicit in them."

Egyptian, Saudi, Malaysian, and Jordanian officials similarly expressed outrage, reported the New York Times.

Protesters raged outside Swedish embassies in various nations, including Iraq and London.

Muqtada al-Sadr, an Islamist cleric based in Iraq, demanded that his government strip Momika of his citizenship and that Sweden repatriate him him so that he can be punished.

Following Momika's demonstration, the Stockholm police reportedly received additional applications for book-burning protests: one similarly targeting the Quran and another targeting both the Bible and the Torah.

The Swedish government said in a statement that it "strongly rejects the Islamophobic act committed by individuals in Sweden," adding that the incident "in no way reflects the opinions of the Swedish Government."

Beijing opines

Mao Ning, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry, issued a statement Tuesday, saying, "China rejects all forms of Islamophobia. No one should be allowed to use 'freedom of speech' as an excuse to stoke conflict and pit one civilization against another."

This statement comes amidst the communist nation's efforts to shore up its Middle Eastern and North African influence and ties.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley responded, "The Uyghurs would beg to differ."

Salih Hudayar, a Uyghur American politician and advocate for East Turkistan independence, wrote, "China is the biggest perpetrator of #Islamophobia. Millions of Islamic texts have been burned, thousands of mosques have been destroyed, millions of Muslims are locked up in concentration camps & facing genocide in East Turkistan where saying 'Assalamu Aleykum' is a 'crime.'"

Swedish journalist Jojje Olsson, who has long been on the receiving end of threats from the Chinese embassy in his native country, tweeted, "OK now explain how genocide against Muslim minorities isn't islamophobic."

Extra to the significant backlash to the spokesman's claim, a Twitter note was initially appended to the post, stating, "China is currently attempting genocide against Ugyhur [sic] Muslims."

Among the many Chinese apparatchiks and pro-Beijing personalities who rushed to defend Mao's claim was Andy Boreham, a contributor to the Shanghai Daily, an English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Boreham raged in particular against the Twitter community note, calling it "disgusting" and claiming, "There is no 'genocide' against Uygurs in China. Twitter Community Notes shouldn’t be used as a tool to spread Washington propaganda."

When the note was ultimately withdrawn, Boreham celebrated, writing, "We did it folks! The community note is gone," adding an emoji of the Chinese flag.

On the contrary

The U.S. under both the Trump and Biden administrations, the United KingdomCanadaFrance, and a number of other countries not entirely under Beijing's thumb have formally declared the CCP's internment and ethnic cleansing of the country's Uyghur population a genocide.

48-page U.N. rights office report published Aug. 31, 2022, described possible "crimes against humanity" in Xinjiang, where around 12 million predominantly Muslim Uyghurs reside.

The report noted that the China's Xinjiang Religious Affairs Regulation "prohibits 'extremist... ideas', 'thought', 'activities', 'clothing', 'symbols', 'signs', and content', but provides little clarity on what constitutes these elements such as to render them extremist."

Opposition to the country's abortion regime, the growth of "irregular beards," the refusal of "public goods," and interference "with normal cultural and recreational activities," are regarded as evidence of extremism and therefore cause for coercion and detentions.

TheBlaze previously reported that Uyghurs who have escaped China have detailed forced late-term abortions, routine tortures, and forced labor in China's re-education camps (called "Vocational Education and Training Centers" by the CCP) where an estimated 1 million people have been confined in recent years.

Last year, the New York Post indicated that Xinjiang itself had more or less been transformed into an open-air prison camp.

Uyghur neighborhoods have been surrounded by militarized checkpoints. Those who want to leave are retinal-scanned. Each neighborhood is assigned a "grid monitor" who surveils their activities and ensures against their adherence to religious customs.

According to Nury Turkel, the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Uyghurs outside the camps are subjected to "a barrage of scans, tests and examinations ... [including] retinal scans and fingerprints ... blood or hair samples ... for DNA profiling."

The Post reported that they must also "read from a set text for forty-five minutes so their voices could be recorded and identified," enabling spies to determine who was talking in tapped and taped communications.

Cullen Hendrix, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, wrote that Xinjiang "may be the most tightly controlled media environment on Earth, on par with North Korea."

China's persecution of the Uyghurs extends far beyond its borders.

According to NBC News, as of April 2022, over 1,500 ethnic Muslim Uyghurs had been detained in the Middle East and North Africa, many of whom have been extradited back to China. Thousands more have been targeted, hit with cyber attacks, or have had their families back in China threatened.

Columnist Hugh Hewitt echoed reporters Eva Dou and Cate Cadell in his column this week in the Washington Post, writing, "'As with the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, Tiananmen in 1989 and other violent campaigns since, the party is moving to erase traces of its actions in Xinjiang from history.'"

Propagandists like Boreham evidently have their work cut out for them.

While the concentration camps appear to be emptying and "China might indeed have permanently turned away from the genocidal path that culminates in mass slaughter," Hewitt stressed "nothing should be assumed about China’s retreat until the evidence is irrefutable."

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