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China passes law to make Islam 'compatible with socialism'

Published: January 6, 2019
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Source: aljazeera.com

China has passed a new law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within the next five years, the latest move by Beijing to rewrite how the religion is practised.

China's main English newspaper, Global Times, reported on Saturday that after a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, government officials "agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion."

The newspaper did not provide further details or the names of the associations that agreed to the decree.

China has embarked on an aggressive "Sinification" campaign in recent years with faith groups that were largely tolerated in the past seeing their freedoms shrink under Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong.

According to the UN, 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.

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China is attempting to shift the narrative to one of a positive "de-radicalization" program. Beijing now not only fully owns up to its system of forced labor camps, but as a Times (UK) report finds, is even parading groups of Muslims on state TV to extol the virtues of the system. 

A breaking report based on findings of a United Nations human rights panel accuses China of holding up to one million ethnic Uighurs in what the report says resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy”.

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