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Report: China Orders Muslims to Hand Over Qurans, Prayer Mats

Jacob Wohl

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—Via Breitbart

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported this week that some Uighur Muslims in China’s westernmost province of Xinjiang have accused the police of confiscating their Qurans, claiming the seminal Islamic text contains “extremist content.”
Xinjiang is home to a Uighur Muslim separatist movement and the Chinese government has previously claimed citizens from Xinjiang have left to the Middle East to join the Islamic State. In response, the Communist Party has cracked down significantly on public displays of faith, including publicly fasting during Ramadan or wearing Islamic garb on public transportation.

Radio Free Asia cites Dilxat Raxit, World Uyghur Congress spokesman, as having seen orders from police on the social media platform WeChat ordering families to hand over their Qurans and prayer mats, among other religious paraphernalia.

“All Qurans and related items must be handed into the authorities, and there are notices to this effect being broadcast via WeChat,” Raxit told the outlet. “We received a notification saying that every single ethnic Uyghur must hand in any Islam-related items from their own home, including Qurans, prayers and anything else bearing the symbols of religion … They have to be handed in voluntarily. If they aren’t handed in, and they are found, then there will be harsh punishments.”

RFA adds that sources on the ground have seen instances of confiscations involving non-Uighur Muslims in the region as well, such as Kazakh and Kyrgyz Muslims. “Officials at village, township and county level are confiscating all Qurans and the special mats used for namaaz[prayer],” a Kazakh source told the outlet.

RFA adds that officials in the region began confiscation Qurans this year, citing their “extremist content,” but had only extended the ban to Qurans published more than five years ago, attempting to replace them with government-approved copies.

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Jacob Wohl is the CEO and Head of Fixed Income and Interest Rates for Montgomery Assets, a proprietary trading and asset management firm based in Los Angeles, CA. Jacob Wohl is the host of the Offended America Podcast

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