‘If we won’t put up the couplets or hang lanterns, they say we are two-faced, and they send us to re-education camps,’ said a Xinjiang resident
Editor / Internet Yeni Şafak
China is unabatedly continuing its oppression and incarceration of Muslim minorities in the country, now forcing them to drink alcohol and eat pork, both of which are forbidden by Islam.
Locals in Xinjiang said that they were being threatened by Chinese authorities with imprisonment in China’s “re-education camps” if they did not attend Lunar New Year dinners where pork was being served, according to a report by the Free Asia Radio.
“Kazakh people in Xinjiang have never [eaten pork],” said a Kazakh resident of Altay’s Qinggil. “Starting last year, some people have been forced to eat pork so they can celebrate a festival belonging to the Han Chinese.”
Additionally, photographs taken on the eve of the Chinese Year of the Pig depicted officials distributing raw pork in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture under the pretext of “helping the needy.”
However, China’s oppression and threats don’t stop there as it continues its campaign to assimilate Uyghurs into Han Chinese culture by forcing Muslims to hang up symbols of the Spring Festival, a synonym for the Lunar New Year.
“Kazakhs don’t celebrate Spring Festival,” said a Kazakh woman who only gave her first name, Kasey. “Our main festivals are Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Spring Festival is for Han Chinese and people who believe in Buddhism.”
“If we won’t put up the couplets or hang lanterns, they say we are two-faced, and they send us to re-education camps.”
Many refer to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region — home to many ethnic minorities, including the Turkic Uyghur people — as East Turkestan.
They believe Uyghurs are among a number of Turkic tribes that inhabit the region, and consider it to be a part of Central Asia, not China.
Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group that make up 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, accuse China of carrying out repressive policies that restrain their religious, commercial and cultural activities.
Established under the pretext of “political reeducation” for China’s Muslim population, Beijing has amped up its construction of detention camps in the past three months, expanding them by an additional 700,000 square meters, according to satellite imagery.
China’s Muslim incarceration camps have attracted heavy criticism from the international community as Beijing continually denied their existence and repeatedly rejected allegations of abuses against the country’s Uyghur minority for years, opting to call them “vocational camps” instead.
Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group which makes up around 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, has long accused China’s authorities for cultural, religious and economic discrimination.