China has passed a new law that intends to make Islam “compatible” with socialism within the next five years.
China’s main English language newspaper, Global Times, reported on Saturday 5 January that government officials “agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion”.
The newspaper did not include any information on the eight Islamic associations that were consulted by the government who subsequently agreed to the law.
Normative Islamic practices and rituals have been banned in the Xinjinag region of China where possessing a copy of the Quran, fasting during Ramadan, wearing the hijab in public buildings and men having beards are criminal offences.
According to the United Nations (UN), at least one million Uyghur Muslims are being detained in “re-education” camps where they are forced to denounce Islam and pledge their allegiance to China’s atheist ruling Communist Party.
Human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have accused China of carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Crescents and domes have also been removed from mosques, whilst Islamic schools and Arabic classes have been banned and children being prevented from engaging in Muslim activities.
Only last week, Chinese authorities in Yunnan province closed three mosques established by the marginalised Hui Muslims.