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China "Sinicizes" Islam
By:Afsara Sheikh, Beijing
Date: Monday, 7 January 2019, 10:04 pm

Beijing outlines 5-year plan to make Islam "Chinese in character"

The report comes at the backdrop of China detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in various detention camps

China "Sinicizes" Islam

Beijing: The Communist regime of Xi Jinping has outlined a five year plan to "Sinicize" Islam. By Sinicization the government meant making Islam - the fastest growing religion in the world, "Chinese in character".

Representatives from local Islamic associations from eight provinces and regions, including Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan, Yunnan and Qinghai provinces, discussed a five-year (2018-22) outline on the sinicization of Islam at a seminar in Beijing on Saturday, according to China's main English newspaper, Global Times.

Citing a statement published on the China Islamic Association's website, Global Times reported that the representatives agreed that the outline is the basic policy for Islamic sinicization for the next five years.

Jin Rubin, Deputy Chairman of the China Islamic Association, told the Global Times on Sunday that the outline's content will soon be released to the public after further revisions, and has already been distributed to local Islamic associations. The outline's draft was passed in December 2017.

Quoting Gao Zhanfu, a vice dean of the Beijing-based China Islamic Institute, Global Times in its report said that sinicization of Islam has "matured" since the concept was brought forward in 2015 by President Xi Jinping.

"The sinicization of Islam is not about changing the beliefs, habits or ideology of Islam but to make them compatible with socialist society", Gao told the Global Times.

The report comes at the backdrop of China detaining hundreds of thousands of Muslims in various detention camps. The United Nations had earlier revealed that more than one million Uighur Muslims are estimated to be held in internment camps where they are forced to denounce the religion and pledge allegiance to the officially atheist ruling Communist Party.

The New York Times in its recent report has claimed that Muslims kept in the detention camps are also forced into labour on extremely low or no wages. The New York Times in another report claimed that the goal of keeping Muslims in detention camps is to rid them of devotion to Islam.

China has rejected all these reports, saying it protects the religion and culture of its minorities.