Asiaone.com reported on Monday 25th November that in the area of Xinjiang, Kashgar City where the Uighur Muslims live that the Chinese government began a campaign against the niqab of Muslim women and the beards of Muslim men on the premise of ‘security reasons’. One action in their campaign is to intercept veiled women in the public crowd, take their data under the gaze of camera surveillance, and then invite them to hold talks discussing their experiences, leading eventually to promising them a job with a decent salary on condition that they should leave their Islamic dress. Veiled Muslim women are even forced to watch a movie about “the beauty of life without the veil.”
The Xinjiang Daily, run by the ruling Communist Party, warned of the potential dangers of Islamic dress in a July opinion piece. “Some people with ulterior motives are distorting religious teachings” and “inciting young people to do jihad”, it said, adding that black robes induced depression and scared babies. The ruling party has sought periodically to stamp out the Islamic dress since taking power in 1949, first launching an atheism drive and then banning the headscarf altogether in the 1960’s and 70’s.
Previously it has also been reported that Uighur Muslim women have experienced serious discrimination in public places due to their Islamic dress. Not only that, a few months earlier the Chinese government also made a rule that prohibits youth under 18 years, including the women, to go to the mosque, as well as forcing every mosque to fly the flag of China. This is alongside curbing of fasting by Muslim officials and students during the month of Ramadan.
The Chinese government is clearly desperate to inhibit the rise of Islam in East Turkestan, by conducting this open campaign against veiled Muslim women and bearded Muslim men by using cheap enticement or fear tactics to pressure them to abandon the commands of Islam. Indeed, these hostile actions against Muslims in East Turkistan which is occupied by China does not only reflect their hatred towards the Islamic laws and values, but their fear that the ideology of Islam will influence communities in China – a state that today does not have a clear ideological direction due to the erosion of communism within the country.
On the other hand, the aggressive stance of the Chinese government towards Islam demonstrates that remnants of the repressive communist doctrine and values that have a legacy of persecuting religious minorities still remain firmly rooted within the state. In its heyday the Chinese Communist regime under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung slaughtered 4.5 million Muslims and officially announced Islam as illegal. Today, the Uighur Muslims continue to face intense pressure to leave their Islamic beliefs and obligations and our Uighur sisters endure much difficulty in order to maintain their Islamic dress. However, the Chinese government’s bullying tactics and black propaganda against Islamic law have failed to intimidate or shake the Iman of the strong Muslim Uighur community. By the help of Allah سبحانه وتعالى their firmness in Islam has ensured that within their community, the Islamic values have dominated over the atheist ones which have been propagated by the communist regime for many decades.
O our dear Uighur sisters! Be patient with the pressure and oppression from the tyrant Chinese regime! The dawn of the Khilafah is very near and we are one Ummah, we belong to one Deen, our Prophet is one, our Qur’an is one, our flag is one, and our struggle is one. It is the Khilafah state alone that will enable you to live by all the Commands of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, and have active political and public lives while also guaranteeing you the right to wear your Islamic dress with complete honour and under the protection of the State. It is the Khilafah that will liberate the oppressed East Turkistan lands and their daughters, establishing for them security and dignity. Thus join the struggle for the establishment of the Second Khilafah Rashidah which will silence through the rule of Islam those who attack and besmirch the honor of Muslim women around the world.
Written for Central Media Office Hizb ut Tahrir by
Member of Central Media Office Hizb ut Tahrir