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HomeCultureChina pushes the ‘Sinicization of religion’ in Xinjiang, targeting Uyghurs — Radio...

China pushes the ‘Sinicization of religion’ in Xinjiang, targeting Uyghurs — Radio Free Asia

When Erkin Tuniyaz, chairman of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), visited the largest mosque in Urumqi before the Eid al-Fitr holy day marking the end of Ramadan, he used the opportunity to promote Beijing’s policy of assimilation of non-Chinese people in its far western regions.

“According to the arrangements and invitation of the autonomous region party committee, we must hold absolutely tight to the plan for Sinicizing the Islamic religion in Xinjiang and actively take the lead in fitting the Islamic religion into socialist society,” he said at the Noghay Mosque, as quoted in an April 30 article by Xinjiang Daily.  

Though the 19th-century mosque is technically open, the complex is cordoned off with fences and barbed wire. In recent years, Chinese authorities removed the Arabic shahada, or testament of faith from above the entrance gate to the building — the largest mosque in Urumqi…

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