“From the bottom of our hearts, we truly think that we are the happiest Muslims in the world. We have such a great country and our ethnic policy is very well-established.” – Han Zhouhai, Vice-president of China Islamic Association
“We are not allowed to show the word “halal” in Arabic. Now the government only allows us to write it in Chinese. I have no choice but to get used to this. It’s the government’s decision.” – A meat shop owner in Yinchuan’s Halal wholesale food market
“All kinds of people have been detained, from young kids to those over 80 years old. They were all detained, including ethnic Kazakhs, for all sorts of reasons. So we have no choice but to speak up.” – Serikzhan Bilash, Leader of Atajurt
China has faced growing criticism over its detention of more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslims in re-education camps in Xinjiang. The region is now one of China’s most heavily policed areas. But there’re signs that other regions in mainland China plan to follow the example of Xinjiang’s re-education camps and tighten their grip on the Islamic faithful.
We travelled to Qinghai province of China to visit one of the largest mosques in all of northwest China, and spoke to Han Zhuohui, the Vice-president of the China Islamic Association, for his view on patriotism in Islam.
We also travelled to the second largest Muslim population in China: Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It didn’t take us long to find the visible signs of attempts to reduce the influence of Islam in Ningxia’s capital, Yinchuan.
Finally, we visited Almaty, Kazakhstan for a chat with the Senior Adviser of World Uyghur Congress Kakharman Khozhamberdi for his take on Xinjiang, as well as the latest updates of a human rights group “Atajurt” in which they support the relatives of ethnic Kazakhs who had been detained in Xinjiang.
Archive link at RTHK (2019-3-16):