China is locking up its Muslim minorities, and pushing Islamophobia to get Europe to do it too

Sa, 11/20/2018 - 12:50 -- mhrbanynus
  • The Chinese government is receiving more and more heat over its persecution of the Uighurs, a majority-Muslim ethnic minority in the country's west.
  • Beijing is responding by trying to stoke Islamophobia in Western countries to justify its controversial policies and even accuse those countries of hypocrisy.
  • Earlier this year a Chinese official cited terror attacks perpetrated by Islamic militants in Paris and Belgium to say that Europe was "failing" to curb Islamic extremism.
  • China's critics aren't buying it.

China is trying to stoke Islamophobia among Europeans to justify, and even export, its model of locking up their Muslim minorities as the troubling crackdown continues to grab global attention.

Beijing is waging an unprecedented crackdown on the Uighurs, a majority-Muslim ethnic minority, in the western region of Xinjiang. Many Uighurs refer to the region as East Turkestan.

Uighurs are placed under intense surveillance in their hometowns, with up to 1 million of them reportedly imprisoned in detention centers or re-education camps, where many are reportedly psychologically and mentally tortured.

Beijing sees its crackdown on Uighurs as a counterterrorism measure, and claimed the camps were "free vocational training" that make life "colorful."

Lawmakers and international organizations are increasing pressure on China to stop these practices. But Beijing is not only ignoring their critics — it's even trying to get them to follow their lead.

Over the past few weeks, China has, through official statements and editorials in state media, cited Islamic terror attacks in Europe to justify and promote its Xinjiang policy.