China Declares Islam an “Incurable Tumor and a Poisonous Medicine”
China sees Islam as a growing problem and has increased its actions against Uighur Muslims in the country. According to UN and U.S. officials, around one million Muslims have been put in Chinese internment camps until now.
Inmates told that in the camps Muslims are forced to reject Islam and learn Communist Party songs every day. Other reports say that inmates are forced to eat pork and drink alcohol.
While the camps were at first created to the battle extremism of Uighur Muslims, now even a long beard – as part of a Muslim identity – can result in being sent to a re-education camp. The consequence is that almost every Uighur Muslim risks to be sent away for ‘re-education’.
The official radio of China’s official Communist Party broadcasted:
“Members of the public who have been chosen for re-education have been infected by an ideological illness. They have been infected with religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology, and therefore they must seek treatment from a hospital as an inpatient.”
“The religious extremist ideology is a type of poisonous medicine, which confuses the mind of the people. … If we do not eradicate religious extremism at its roots, the violent terrorist incidents will grow and spread all over like an incurable malignant tumor,” the radio statement broadcast via WeChat to Uighurs last year, said.
After being confronted by a UN panel a Chinese official says there are “no such things as re-education centers”.
According to James Millward, a professor of Chinese history at Georgetown University, “Religious belief is seen as pathology”.
“So now they’re calling re-education camps ‘hospitals’ meant to cure thinking. It’s like an inoculation, a search-and-destroy medical procedure that they want to apply to the whole Uighur population, to kill the germs of extremism,” Millward adds.
The professor could be right as a later excerpt of the audio broadcast shows that it’s not necessary to commit a crime, but the Islamic ideology itself is already considered extremist:
“Although a certain number of people who have been indoctrinated with extremist ideology have not committed any crimes, they are already infected by the disease. There is always a risk that the illness will manifest itself at any moment, which would cause serious harm to the public.
That is why they must be admitted to a re-education hospital in time to treat and cleanse the virus from their brain and restore their normal mind.”